COARSEGOLD — An ATV accident sent a Coarsegold woman to the hospital last night, and ended in an arrest for suspicion of DUI after she rolled the quad on Highway 41.
Just before 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 31, Mary Jane Lomier, 78, was southbound on Highway 41 just south of Road 416 on a 2016 Kawasaki quad — a vehicle that is not street legal, according to CHP.
About one-quarter mile south of Road 416, Lomier made a slow left turn toward a driveway on the east side of the road, says CHP, turning directly into the path of oncoming northbound traffic. The quad overturned onto its right side in the number two lane. The driver was not wearing a helmet.
At that moment, Bob Kasper and Martha Robrahn were driving in their truck, northbound in the left lane of the uphill passing lanes, and described the accident. Kaspar says the woman on the ATV suddenly made a “slow, lazy u-turn right in front of us. A hundred feet closer, and it would have been a head-on.”
Kaspar says the driver didn’t seem to be fighting the ATV as it turned up on its side and just tipped over, and the woman “hit her head on the pavement.” Kaspar slammed on his brakes, and was able to avoid hitting her, or any other vehicles. He then blocked the scene so that other vehicles didn’t hit the woman, who was lying in the road.
Kaspar says the woman’s foot was pinned under the ATV, and there was a gas leak. About a minute later, a school nurse with the Madera County Office of Education arrived on the scene. Dustin Ginter, RN, comforted the woman as she regained consciousness, and cautioned her against moving.
“We rolled the quad off of her and then rolled it to the side of the road so the gas would not be leaking on her,” says Kaspar, who believes the driver may have lost consciousness before she fell off. When she came to, she was “coughing congestively and had lost color.”
According to the investigating officer, Lomier suffered minor lacerations to her head and was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno where she was arrested and cited for driving under the influence, and released to the custody of the hospital for treatment. She had no recollection of the accident, but was conscious and alert in the hospital, though highly intoxicated, says CHP.
One-lane traffic control was put in place on Highway 41 as the patient was readied for transport and the scene was cleared.