Union Democrat staff

A hail storm pelted the Sonora area and spurred a pair of auto accidents Thursday afternoon.

The hail started falling in spurts at about 12:15 p.m.

About 12:40 p.m., a Honda Accord heading east on Highway 120, west of O'Byrnes Ferry Road, lost traction and spun onto the north side of the highway, said CHP spokesman Officer Nick Norton.

The car went 75-feet down an embankment, and hit a tree and a fence before coming to a stop. The driver, whose name was unavailable, was taken to a Modesto hospital by helicopter, Norton said.

A passenger was uninjured.

A few minutes later, another car spun out in the same area and hit a third car stopped on the side of the highway, Norton said.

Two people in the parked car were preparing to get out and trade positions but, "luckily," hadn't gotten that far, Norton said.

No injuries were reported, though the cars were damaged. The names of the involved parties were unavailable.

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