Authorities are investigating a collision in front of the Oak Room bar on Highway 41 in Oakhurst as a felony hit-and-run that caused major injuries and led to a crowd allegedly pestering emergency medical technicians.
At 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee pulled out of the Oak Room’s parking lot onto Highway 41 and for an unknown reason stoppedi n the northbound lane of the highway.
Daniel Treinen, driving a 2011 Freightliner tow truck owned by Sierra Mountain Towing, was unable to avoid the Jeep and smashed into it, severely damaging its front end before the Jeep slid and crashed into a parked, unoccupied GMC truck.
CHP Sgt. Ethan Jackson said Wednesday that Thom Griswold of Oakhurst, laying on the ground outside the Oak Room, was riding as a passenger in the Jeep.
Jackson said no evidence showed Griswold was thrown from the vehicle during the crash. A person driving the jeep fled before CHP arrived, Jackson said, and authorities are searching for them. Anyone with information is asked to call the Oakhurst Area CHP Office at (559) 658-6590 during business hours.
As medical workers attempted to provide aid to Griswold, reports indicated members of a crowd at the bar, who had been drinking according to authorities, began trying to climb into an ambulance and generally hassle EMTs as well as off-duty Caltrans staff removing debris from the highway. At least three people were reportedly detained, but not arrested.
Griswold suffered a fractured right leg and was flown to Community Regional Medical Center.
Treinen complained of pain, Jackson said, but refused medical transport after he was evaluated by EMTs.