3R tourists meet by accident


Visitors come from all over the world to experience the wonders of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The last thing any tourist wants is to interrupt their vacation with an auto accident.

But that’s what happened in Three Rivers on Friday, July 18, at 6:15 p.m. These travelers, who were involved in this mishap, came just about as far as they could to meet by accident.      

According to the California Highway Patrol incident report, Evan Hellwig, 23, of Shrewsbury, Maine, was driving a 2007 Toyota Camry eastbound and made a left turn in front of the newly opened Ol’ Buckaroo on Sierra Drive just east of the intersection with North Fork Drive. Apparently, Hellwig did not see the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder being driven westbound by Eric Bonmartie, 54, of Orleans, France.

The Pathfinder’s left front side collided with the front end of the Camry. Neither driver was injured in the crash, nor were any of the three passengers riding in Hellwig’s vehicle.

Traffic was backed up for awhile as the Camry remained perpendicular in the roadway until the CHP arrived on scene. Three Rivers Engine 14 was the first emergency vehicle to respond, and the crew directed vehicles around the damaged sedan. 

Both the Nissan and the Camry had moderate damage to the front ends. Hellwig was cited for making an unsafe left turn. 

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