In less than a month, an interesection near Highways 41 and 49 in Oakhurst, close to a shopping center turnout, has played host to multi-vehicle wrecks.
On Thursday, Sarmen Tahmasian, 29, of Fresno, was driving a silver Toyota Camry southbound on Highway 41 from the intersection when Nick Smith, 28 of Ahwahnee, attempted a left turn from the northbound lane into the Old Mill Village shopping center in his 1997 Ford F250.
Both vehicles smashed into each other, ripping Tahmasian’s Camry apart on its left side while Smith’s Ford was crushed in its front-left end and spilled large amounts of oil onto the road.
Traffic was slowed along Highway 41 and for drivers coming out of the shopping center until about noon, after the crash was reported at 11:15 a.m.
The cause of the wreck is under investigation, CHP officer Kaci Lutz said. Both drivers were alone, and Tahmasian suffered minor pains but was walking around and inspecting his car after the accident once he was released from an ambulance.
Smith’s dog Dude, sitting in the passenger seat, was unharmed in the wreck. Tahmasian and Smith also were seen speaking amicably to each other after initial turmoil from the crash.
Lutz said the intersection with both highways, particularly with the turnout from the Old Mill Village shopping center, always has high amounts of traffic which can create risky situations.
“It’s a very busy intersection with a lot of moving components,” Lutz said. “And it stays busy all parts of the day. There’s a lot of little issues that can potentially cause problems.”
Lutz said drivers should remember to pay attention, make full stops at signs and traffic lights, and check on the movements of other motorists to make a safe decision.
Last month, a 16-year-old girl from Oakhurst in an SUV collided with a veteran in a white minivan in almost the exact same spot as Thursday’s wreck.
That wreck was also caused in relation to the Old Mill Village shopping center, when the teenager pulled out of its exit to Highway 41 and the veteran, from Ahwahnee, hit her while traveling in the southbound lane.
Full story on the September wreck: http://www.sierrastar.com/2015/09/17/75052/two-car-wreck-on-highway-41.html.