A head-on collision south of Ahwahnee involving a U.S. Forest Service vehicle left one man dead and three people injured Monday afternoon, California Highway Patrol reported.
The head-on crash was reported at 1 p.m. on Highway 49 near Griffin Road. Two U.S. Forest Service employees were traveling southbound on Highway 49 in a Jeep Cherokee when they collided with a Chevrolet Pickup Truck traveling northbound on the highway, CHP Sgt. Ethan Jackson said.
The driver of the pickup truck, a 74-year-old man from Mariposa, was killed and his 87-year-old wife was flown to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with major injuries.
The two U.S. Forest Service employees,a 69-year-old female driver and a 68-year-old female passenger, suffered moderate injuries and were also taken to CRMC by ambulance.
Jackson said the U.S. Forest Service vehicle merged into the northbound lane for an unknown reason, which forced the truck to swerve left. The Cherokee then tried to merge back into its original lane, but collided with the truck.
Traffic was slow near the intersection of Highway 49 and Griffin Road for about two hours, Jackson said. All lanes near the crash are now open.
The cause of the collision is still under investigation.