A noontime accident on Highway 132 between Empire and Waterford sent a woman to the hospital, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Shannon Cotton, 20, of Waterford, was driving a 1991 Honda Accord eastbound near Indiana Avenue when she suddenly hit her brakes, possibly to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of her, said CHP officer Tom Gowin.
He said she swerved to the left and then the right before heading into the oncoming lane and hitting the left rear wheels of an oncoming tractor-trailer.
The impact ripped off the front half of the Honda, and Cotton was thrown from the car onto the road, Gowin said. She was taken to Memorial Medical Center with a cut and swollen left eyelid and possibly a broken ankle, Gowin said. She also complaiend of pain in her chest.
He said Cotton said she was wearing her safety belt.
The big-rig driver was uninjured and managed to stop the truck despite a broken axle, Gowin said. He said the driver of a minivan behind the truck managed to avoid a collision by driving into an adjacent orchard.
That driver also was unhurt, he said.