A 40-year-old woman was struck by a Cadillac SUV when she tried to walk across Highway 108 east of Lowe’s in Sonora about 9 a.m. Monday, California Highway Patrol staff in Jamestown said.

Heather Bruehl, a resident of Sonora, was on the north shoulder before she stepped into westbound traffic directly into the path of the Cadillac SUV, which was driven by Lawrence Beste, 85, of Jamestown, the CHP said in a statement. Beste was driving 55 miles per hour.

The passenger side of the Cadillac struck Bruehl, she sustained major injuries, and she was flown by helicopter to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment. The westbound 108 was blocked and one-way traffic control was in effect for about 20 minutes, the CHP said.

Drugs and alcohol were not suspected to be a factor in the crash.  

The place where Bruehl was struck was described by the CHP as east of the Old Wards Ferry Road bridge, which passes over Highway 108 at the Lowe’s and the Walmart Supercenter.

There are no designated pedestrian crossings on that section of Highway 108. It’s not illegal to walk across Highway 108 there, CHP Officer Steve Machado said in a phone interview Monday. 

The CHP does strongly recommend pedestrians be extremely careful choosing when and where they try to walk across Highway 108 if necessary, Machado said.

Contact Guy McCarthy at or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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