Coarsegold resident airlifted to Fresno after Highway 41 collision

On April 15, at approximately 3:58 p.m. Michael Baize Jr., 29 of Coarsegold, was driving a 2005 Suzuki motorcycle northbound on Highway 41 north of Road 620 at an unknown speed. At the same time, Alvaro Pena, 46 of Madera, was driving a 2005 Ford F-550 towing a trailer southbound on Highway 41, approaching the same location at 55 m.p.h..

For unknown reasons, Baize turned his head to the left and took his eyes off the roadway, the motorcycle veered to the left across the solid double yellow lines into the southbound lane directly into the path of Pena.

Pena applied the brakes, but could not avoid a collision. As a result of the head-on collision, Baize was fully ejected from the motorcycle and sustained major injuries. He was transported by CHP helicopter to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno for treatment. Pena and the three passengers in the Ford were not injured.

The southbound lane of Highway 41 was blocked for approximately two hours for investigation and clean-up, with Caltrans assisting with one-way traffic control. The northbound lane of Highway 41 remained open.This collision remains under investigation.