Tuesday afternoon's fatal accident on Highway 41 began when an 85-year-old Coarsegold woman lost control of her car and clipped a boulder, the California Highway Patrol said. The Hyundai rolled several times, tumbling into the oncoming lane. Donald Schmidt, 74, of Atwater, driving a Ford pickup, saw the car rolling toward him, the CHP said. He slammed on his brakes but was unable to avoid the Hyundai, which landed on the pickup.
The Coarsegold woman and a 90-year-old passenger, also of Coarsegold, were killed. Their names were withheld pending notification of their family.
Schmidt and a passenger in the pickup, 74-year-old Alta Schmidt of Atwater, were taken to Community Regional Medical Center for treatment of moderate injuries.
The 3 p.m. accident closed Highway 41 between Highway 145 and Road 200 until about 5:35 p.m. The accident occurred in an stretch of Highway 41 known as Rocky cut, which has been the scene of numerous deadly collisions over the years.