2018 statistics
San Andreas CHP covers all of Calaveras County and part of Alpine County to the top of Ebbetts Pass.
661 total traffic collisions
162 DUI arrests
Of those 661 collisions:
418 involved property damage only
229 involved a minor to major injury
75 involved a DUI driver
14 involved a fatality, of the 14 fatal traffic collisions:
16 people lost their lives
3 people were passengers in the vehicle
The youngest person was 13 and the oldest was 74
5 of them did not have a seatbelt on during the collision
9 of the collisions involved a DUI driver (alcohol or drugs or a combination of the two)
7 occurred on State Highways
7 of the “at-fault” drivers were local

Sonora CHP information is not yet available.

A 20-year-old man from Elk Grove died Jan. 2 at a hospital in Modesto due to injuries sustained in a New Year’s Day snowmobile crash east of the winter road closure point on Highway 108.

His death was the only fatal vehicle accident investigated by the California Highway Patrol in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties over the New Year Maximum Enforcement Period from 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, to 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

Sonora-area California Highway Patrol Sgt. Dave Chesson said next of kin was being notified and the name of the man could not immediately be released.

About 1 p.m. New Year’s Day, the man was riding a 2010 Ski-Doo Rotax 800R snowmobile westbound on Highway 108, about 1.7 miles from the winter road closure at the Highway 108 Sno-Park outside of Pinecrest. The road closure is about 7.2 miles from the town of Strawberry on Highway 108.

The man was with a group of winter recreators and snowmobilers that included his family, Chesson said.

The group was riding on top of Highway 108, which had about 6 inches of snow packed onto the road.

The Elk Grove man was riding at a high rate of speed and traveled off the roadway and hit with a tree, Chesson said. An ambulance transported him to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, and he died on Jan. 2 about 7 p.m.

“It was good people having a good time, and something terrible happened,” Chesson said.

Chesson said Caltrans officials opened the winter closure gates for CHP officers and allowed them access to the accident scene. The man had already been transported when CHP arrived, he said.

Chesson said drugs and alcohol likely were not factors in the collision, and snowmobiling in the area is legal.

The Sonora-area CHP also made five DUI arrests and investigated three non-injury collisions during the MEP.

One of the non-injury collisions resulted in the arrest of Ronald Ivey, 42, of Lodi, who drove his 2017 Honda Accord into a guardrail on Highway 49 near Stockton Road on Dec. 31.

No BAC was available for Ivey because he chose to take a blood test, Chesson said.

San Andreas-area CHP officer Toby Butzler said there were two DUI arrests and nine collisions investigated in the San Andreas CHP area.

A Copperopolis man was arrested on Dec. 29 on suspicion of DUI after his 2004 Acura TL passed through a stop sign without stopping and crashed into an embankment on Blackcreek Drive Copperopolis.
Kevin N. Trainque was driving the vehicle about 35 miles per hour at the time of the accident, a CHP press release stated.

Trainque sustained major injuries and was taken to Mark Twain Medical Center for treatment.

The total number of citations issued by both CHP areas was not available.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.

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