A westbound Chevrolet pickup veered off the roadway just west of Horse Creek Bridge on Wednesday, June 11. The Highway 198 crash occurred at 7:30 p.m. when Derek Renteria, 20, of Lindsay drove across the shoulder, where his vehicle left the roadway and careened down an embankment, then rolled over and crashed into a boulder.
According to the CHP report, Renteria was traveling in excess of 65 mph and lost control coming out of the curve on the bridge. The solo motorist suffered minor injuries, but the truck sustained major damage.
Renteria was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence of alcohol and for driving with a suspended license due to a previous drunk driving charge.
There was another accident that occurred on the previous weekend, also just west of Horse Creek. According to a witness at the scene, a vehicle crashed on the south side of the roadway, causing major damage to the vehicle. The driver was bleeding noticeably when he exited the vehicle but apparently was able to summon help to clear the scene and remove the vehicle before the CHP arrived.
“It’s not necessarily against the law to leave the scene of a solo vehicle crash when there is no other damage than to you or your property,” said Officer Harris, CHP information officer.
“It’s summer now so drive with extreme caution,” he continued. “There will be more drivers who have been drinking on the mountain roads, especially near Lake Kaweah and the Kaweah River swimming holes.”