By JOSHUA WOLFSON
A Groveland man died yesterday when his vehicle broadsided a power pole on Ferretti Road.
Jon Aldrich, 67, was partially ejected from the open passenger's side door of his 1991 Ford Escort. He was flown to Doctor's Medical Center in Modesto, where he died from his injuries, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
The accident occurred about 3:25 p.m. as Aldrich was traveling westbound on Ferretti Road, west of Pine Mountain Drive East. His vehicle began to drift right and exited the north edge of the road. The vehicle swerved back to the left, sliding sideways toward the south where it slammed into the pole, the CHP report said.
Aldrich's vehicle had automatic seat belts, but it appeared they were not being used properly at the time of the accident, CHP spokesman Brad Schultz said.
"We don't think he had it on the way it was designed to be used," he said. Schultz said it appeared that Aldrich was using a shoulder harness, but not the lap portion of the seat belt.
With Aldrich's death, there have now been 16 auto fatalities in Tuolumne County this year, more than double last year's count for the same period. Last week, Joseph Loran Rogers, 22, was also killed in a crash near Groveland.