A 58-year-old Sonora man was badly injured when he hit the gas in his two-seat sports car and crashed as he tried to get on eastbound Highway 108 from Mono Way on Sunday afternoon, California Highway Patrol personnel in Sonora said Monday.

Brad Nolte was driving a 2001 Dodge Viper up the two-lane on-ramp to eastbound 108 just after 3 p.m., CHP personnel said in statement. Nolte was in the right lane behind slower traffic, turned into the left lane, speeded up to 60-65 miles per hour, and lost control of the Viper due to rapid acceleration.

The Viper careened to the right, back over the right lane, struck a raised asphalt curb, overturned down a dirt embankment, and came to rest on its roof with Nolte still seat-belted inside, CHP personnel said. People who saw the crash helped Nolte get out of his overturned Viper.

Nolte sustained major injuries as a result of the roll-over crash and he was taken to Adventist Health Sonora.

The Dodge Viper was conceived and designed in the 1980s and 1990s as a modern take on classic American muscle cars. Early models could go from zero to 60 in 4 seconds. Second-generation Vipers like Nolte’s 2001 version had top speeds approaching 188 miles per hour. When they first came out, a 2001 two-door Viper GTS Coupe had an original manufacturer's suggested retail price of $72,225.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.





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