By Giuseppe Ricapito
The Union Democrat
An eviction notice was issued to the Sonora Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on Aug. 23, according to a public document posted to the front window of the business, but former owner Vince Porter classified the closure as “temporary.”
“Chrysler is not leaving the market. We are doing some restructuring,” Porter said in a written statement dictated to Ken McCall, of the advertising agency Pacific Media Group in Modesto.
Porter did not provide any additional information regarding the financial status of the business, the reason for the eviction or the nature of the restructuring in his statement issued to McCall.
McCall said Pacific Media Group in the past has been the agency of record for marketing and advertising for Sonora Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, but the company has not done any business with the vehicle sales and service group in about a year.
The eviction notice was served by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office to the “Porter Auto Group” on the 13400 block of Mono Way on behalf of Centerra Capital Inc., who is listed on the notice as the plaintiff.
Gary Vessella with Santander Bank, who owns the property, said he could not make a statement on the business based on privacy restrictions.
While the business has closed, dozens of unclaimed and unsold vehicles have remained dormant in the wide parking lot straddling Mono Way.
At least two of those vehicles were damaged early Sunday morning when a drunk driver careened through a knee-high metal wire barrier and crashed his 1994 Ford Explorer, said Sonora-area Public Information Officer Faustino Pulido.
The vehicle was traveling westbound on Mono Way at an unknown speed, when it crossed over both the westbound and eastbound lanes, went up and over the sidewalk and crashed directly into a red Dodge Ram 1500 and into the right front corner of a blue Dodge Ram 2500, Pulido said.
The driver, Jacob Sabins, 26, of Sonora, was not arrested at the scene but was released to an area hospital for treatment of injuries, Pulido said.
A report will be issued to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine charges pending a case review and blood results, Pulido said.
Days after the accident, the lot still shows the aftermath of the crash, with scattered vehicle debris, glass, metal and plastic strewn across the concrete.