Several hurt in crashes

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat

California Highway Patrol responded to 18 traffic collisions in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties this week, some of which resulted in major injuries.

CHP's Sonora-area office reported 12 accidents, and the San Andreas office reported six during the four-day "maximum enforcement period," which began Dec. 21 and continued through Christmas Day.

There were seven DUI arrests in the two-county area during the period, four of which resulted from crashes.

Among the more serious accidents in Tuolumne County was a rollover west of Jamestown on Wednesday.

About 7:30 a.m., Francisco Muñoz, 31, of Riverbank, was driving his 1996 Chevy Corvette on Highway 108 about a mile east of Tulloch Road.

He came to a curve in the wet roadway, lost control and rolled his vehicle multiple times, Sonora CHP Officer Nick Norton said.

Muñoz was able to get out of the car on his own, Norton said. He was transported to Modesto Memorial Hospital with major injuries, including a laceration on the back of his head, but was listed in good condition Thursday.

Another single vehicle collision was reported in Groveland on Christmas Eve.

Carmen Harwell, 48, of Groveland, was transported by ambulance to Sonora Regional Medical Center with major injuries after crashing her 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck on Ferretti Road, north of Cottonwood Road.

The truck was found with major damage to its front and left side, Norton said.

Her passenger, Ted Harwell, 72, of Groveland, was not injured.

Carmen Harwell was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Norton said. She was in fair condition Thursday, according to the hospital.

Two young Sonora residents had major injuries after crashing into an embankment in the Jamestown area on Dec. 23.

Matthew Bower, 22, was driving his 2007 Subaru east on Highway 108, east of Yosemite Junction, about 9:30 p.m. in wet conditions.

He lost control of the vehicle, traveled across the south shoulder of the highway, went down an embankment and flipped over several times, the report said.

He and his 18-year-old passenger, Chelsea Bower, were taken to Sonora Regional Medical Center by ambulance. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the wreck, Norton said.

The CHP's next "maximum enforcement period" begins at 6 p.m. today and continues through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1.

The Union Democrat
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