Vehicle crashes claim lives of two

January 01, 2003 11:00 pm

By JASON ECK

Two foothill residents died in separate crashes Monday and Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol reported.

In the first incident, Tuesday afternoon, an 80-year-old Mountain Ranch man was killed in a head-on crash on Mountain Ranch Road east of Lower Michel Road in Calaveras County.

According to a CHP report, Clifford L. Adams was driving east on Mountain Ranch Road at 1 p.m., going between 45 and 50 mph. At the same time, Andrew Riehl, 36, of Jamestown was driving west in a delivery truck with no cargo. The report states that both drivers were completing sweeping curves and were on a straight portion of the road when Adams allowed his vehicle to drift into the westbound lane.

Riehl tried but was unable to avoid the oncoming car. It was not raining at the time, but there had been rain before the crash, the report states.

Adams was pronounced dead at the scene.

Riehl was uninjured.

In the second accident, a Pine Grove woman died about 2 p.m. Monday when the snowmobile she was riding crashed into a tree off Highway 4 east of Lake Alpine.

According to a CHP report, Valerie J. DesVoignes, 49, was riding a snowmobile on the snow-covered highway from Lake Alpine to Hermit Valley.

The highway is closed to regular traffic during the winter.

DesVoignes was traveling between 20 and 30 mph when she entered a downhill grade with a sharp left curve. While in the curve, she allowed the snowmobile to drift to the right and travel off the groomed trail. The machine traveled up a snow embankment and struck a tree.