A rollover accident spurred by slow traffic and a driver trying to avoid a collision claimed the life of a 64-year-old Sonora woman on Thanksgiving.
According to a report issued by the California Highway Patrol, the woman, whose name has not been released, was driving a 2004 Subaru westbound shortly after noon on the Highway 120 Bypass just east of Union Road when she noticed late that the cars in front of her began to slow down. To avoid rear-ending the car in front of her she jerked her vehicle to the right shoulder and attempted to correct to the left before losing control.
The car, according to the report, spun in a counter-clockwise motion before it began rolling several times into the grassy median. She was killed during the violent tumble while her 76-year-old male passenger – also from Sonora – was transported to San Joaquin General Hospital with major injuries.
No other vehicles were involved in the collision, and alcohol use is not suspected.
Slowing traffic on the 120 bypass usually causes accidents for eastbound drivers who don’t notice the long line of cars that can stack up quickly as traffic waits to make it around the curve onto Highway 99. Last year, a high school student burned to death inside of a car that erupted into flames when it was involved in that sort of a scenario, and motorists have been run over by tractor-trailers that don’t give themselves enough room to maneuver when the sudden slowdown hits.
Thursday’s accident snarled traffic along one of the main connecting thoroughfares between a heavily visited section of the Sierra and Yosemite National Park and the Bay Area – on the busiest travel holiday of the year to boot.
The speed of the vehicle was not immediately determined or included in the report.