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.
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