Two people died and two were injured in separate vehicle crashes Monday in Tuolumne County, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The first was at 5:30 p.m. and involved two vehicles on the Old Priest Grade east of Highway 120, the CHP said.
An 83-year-old man from Groveland whose name has been withheld pending notification of family was heading west in a 1998 Ford. He allowed his vehicle to cross into the eastbound lane and struck head-on a 2016 Hyundai being driven by Jacob Lanigan, 24, of Perth, Australia.
The driver of the Ford was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP reported. Lanigan was treated at Sonora Regional Medical Center for minor injuries. His passenger, 26-year-old Katie Anne Salter, also of Perth, suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
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The crash remains under investigation, and alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors, the CHP reported.
The second fatal crash was at 11:55 p.m. on Highway 108 east of Argyle Road in Sonora. A driver who remains unidentified by the Tuolumne County Coroner’s Office was heading east in a 2004 Chevy Silverado and drifted onto the right shoulder.
The vehicle first hit a fiberglass reflective marker, then several tree branches and finally a large oak, the CHP reported. The pickup caught fire and became engulfed, the CHP said, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No information – including gender, age, place of residence – was available Tuesday on the driver.
One-way traffic control was in effect for two and a half hours as responders extinguished the fire and removed the pickup.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327