By JOSHUA WOLFSON
The streak of fatalities on foothill roads during traditionally busy travel times ended this weekend.
In a year that has seen high traffic death rates for both Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, locally there were few injuries and no deaths during the long Labor Day weekend, the California Highway Patrol reported.
In Calaveras County, the major problem was traffic, reported Officer Jan Moon.
"We had a lot of slow traffic up here, which caused some problems but probably kept people out of trouble, too," she said.
Traffic was heaviest around Arnold, Murphys and Calaveras County's lakes, she added.
The weekend saw two injury accidents, she said.
"It seemed to have been pretty quiet up here," she said.
A Calaveras County man was killed during the weekend, but in neighboring San Joaquin County, the CHP said. The 20-year-old Valley Springs man died Sunday morning when his motorcycle collided with a van on Highway 26 near the Calaveras-San Joaquin County Line.
The man, whose name was not released, was involved in a pursuit with a CHP officer attempting to stop him for speeding.
Both counties have experienced traffic fatality rates this year that far outpace 2002. In Tuolumne County, 24 people have died in traffic accidents so far this year, compared with 21 in all of 2002.
Six of this year's deaths occurred during the Memorial and July Fourth holiday weekends.
In Calaveras County, meanwhile, 2003 has seen 14 traffic fatalities so far. Last year, there were only five.
Although foothills roads have been deadlier than usual, the frequency of fatal accidents has slowed of late. The last fatal crash in Calaveras County took place on Aug. 5, when an Angels Camp man was killed in a crash near Vallecito.
Tuolumne County has not experienced a traffic-related death since July 15, when a Modesto man was killed when the car he was riding in flipped on Highway 108 near the Tuolumne-Stanislaus county line.