By SCOTT PESZNECKER
A 43-year-old Jamestown man died either late Wednesday or early this morning when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into a tree in the center divider of Highway 120 east of the South Shore Tulloch turnoff.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Buller, Gordon Ernest McDonald was driving east when the Ford Ranger veered into the center divider, struck a rock and then smashed into the tree. Buller said the truck also rolled.
The exact time of the crash is unknown. A passing motorist reported it to the Highway Patrol at 6 a.m. today, Buller said, and the crash could have occurred anytime between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and the time it was reported.
"It was dark, it's kind of woodsy and there's high grass," Buller said. "It was down in the center divider," which is lower than the roadway.
"Nobody saw it until the sun came up this morning, because it's very dark down there at that time of night," Buller said.
The California Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the crash. The scene was cleaned up by 9:20 a.m. The Tuolumne County Fire Department and a county ambulance assisted the Highway Patrol.