Mariposa & Yosemite

Man killed in Mariposa County when trucks collide

A 24-year-old Firebaugh man was killed Sunday in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 41, south of Jackson Road in Mariposa County, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Department identified the dead man as Jose Avinaramos. The collision was reported shortly before 11:30 a.m. A light rain was falling at the time of the collision, according to the CHP.

The victim was driving a 1998 GMC Sonoma truck southbound on Highway 41 at an unknown rate of speed. Meanwhile, 31-year-old Michael Fiechtner of Mariposa was driving a 2006 Toyota truck northbound on Highway 41. CHP investigators said Fiechtner reported that he was driving 30 mph.

The driver of the Sonoma lost control of his truck after attempting to negotiate a curve to the right. The victim's Sonoma crossed the double yellow lines and crossed into the opposing northbound lane as Fiechtner's truck was approaching, the CHP reported.

The Sonoma slid sideways in the northbound lane and was hit head-on in the driver's side door by the front-end of the Toyota. A Mariposa County sheriff's deputy arrived afterward and pronounced the 24-year-old man dead at the scene.

A 16-year-old male passenger in the Sonoma was transported to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with moderate injuries. Fiechtner received minor injuries, while a 32-year-old female passenger in his truck, Christina Fiechtner, was transported with moderate injuries to John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa.

-- Victor A. Patton


Boy on ATV hit by truck on rural road

A 12-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after a three-wheel all terrain vehicle he was riding was struck Sunday by a truck, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Although the boy only sustained minor injuries, the CHP says he could face charges for driving the ATV on a public road.

The collision, reported around 3 p.m., happened after the boy had been traveling westbound on Roosevelt Road, in the eastbound lane. Shane Ferriera, CHP spokesman, said the boy wasn't wearing a helmet.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man driving a Chevy Silverado, traveling about 40 mph westbound in the westbound lane of Roosevelt Road, approached the ATV from the rear.

Ferriera said the boy switched lanes in front of the truck, in an attempt to avoid a wet patch of road. The front end of the Silverado struck the ATV, knocking the boy into the road. The truck passed over the boy, although the wheels did not appear to roll over him, Ferriera said.

The driver of the Silverado stopped his truck and CHP officers responded to the scene. The boy was transported to Mercy Medical Center Merced with minor injuries, Ferriera said.

Ferriera said the boy, who is too young to have a driver's license, may face charges for driving an ATV on a public road. Whether the youth will face charges will be determined after the investigation into the collision is complete.

Investigators determined that alcohol or drugs did not play a role in to collision, Ferriera said.

-- Victor A. Patton