On Wednesday, Dec. 20, Highway 41 was closed for approximately four hours after a man attempted to elude CHP officers in a reckless chase that ended near Road 620, when he crashed his vehicle and refused to exit.
The chase began about 8:30 p.m., when CHP officers spotted Dimitri Chern, 26 of Fresno, traveling at a high rate of speed near El Cid Restaurant in Oakhurst, and attempted to pull him over for possible DUI. However, Chern continued traveling north on Highway 41 until he lost control of the 2001 Saturn and ran into a ditch while attempting to maneuver a curve.
According to the CHP, Chern appeared to be uninjured, refused to exit the vehicle, and refused to obey commands given by CHP officers. He then placed a small sword to his neck and threatened to injure himself. Fearing for their safety and the safety of Chern, officers secured the scene, closed Highway 41, and requested assistance from the Madera County Sheriff’s Department.
With the help of sheriff deputies, Chern was taken into protective custody, and Highway 41 was reopened.