News Briefs: DUI accidents surge with warm weather; Tulare County opens rural testing sites; Lake Kaweah rising

DUI accidents surge with
An unsafe turn off Dinely Drive onto Highway 198 resulted in a collision with the embankment between the driveway and the sign at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.  The CHP charged the 20-year-old Visalia motorist with felony DUI.

DUI accidents occur almost simultaneously

On Sunday, April 26, two DUI (driving under the influence) accidents occurred just minutes apart. The first collision occurred at 5:46 p.m. on Highway 198 when a 2002 gray Toyota pickup crashed into the embankment in front of the Three Rivers Memorial Building. DUI accidents surge with

The driver of the westbound pickup was Johanan Sanchez Aguilera, 20, of Visalia. A pregnant female passenger, 20, also of Visalia, was injured in the crash. Both were transported via ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for further treatment of injuries sustained in the crash. 

Sanchez-Aguilera was charged with felony DUI because there was an injury to a passenger. In addition to losing his license, jail time is mandatory. DUI accidents surge with

The second crash occurred less than 15 minutes later above the closed BLM recreation area at Paradise on North Fork Drive (about 6 miles from Highway 198). Tyler Reitzer, 23, also of Visalia, was southbound when his 2003 Chevy Cavalier left the roadway and crashed into boulders down a steep embankment. 

Reitzer was arrested, charged, and booked on misdemeanor DUI charges. It was not noted in the preliminary CHP report if Reitzer was injured in the solo vehicle crash. DUI accidents surge with

Tulare County opens two new COVID-19 test sites

DUI accidents surge with
COVID-19 testing samples. (CDC photo)

As part of the statewide effort to expand COVID-19 testing in rural areas, Tulare County has been selected by the California Coronavirus Testing Task Force to receive two new community collection sites. One will be located in Dinuba, the other in Porterville; both will be located at their respective veterans’ memorial buildings. DUI accidents surge with

Each new location has the target of conducting 132 tests per day.

“The State has identified expansion of testing as a key indicator in the road map to recovery from this pandemic,” said Karen Elliott, Director of Public Health for the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. “Tulare County is grateful for the opportunity to provide increased testing to the community to further meet this priority metric.” DUI accidents surge with

The new facilities will begin collecting test samples on Monday, May 4. The State of California is paying the cost for setting up the collection sites. Testing is by appointment only, and tests for individuals who have medical insurance will be billed to the patient’s insurance by OptumServe. Uninsured individuals may also use the testing sites, by appointment only, and their tests will be covered by the state. DUI accidents surge with

Weather watch: Lake Kaweah is on the rise

For water watchers hoping some precipitation is in the May forecast, barring a stray shower or two, it appears that the rainy season is over. That 13-plus inches of rainfall year-to-date at 1,000 feet in Three Rivers is within a millimeter or two of the 2017-2018 season, the last dry year. Burn season was scheduled to end June 15; now that farewell to spring wildflowers are out at the Lake Kaweah and the vegetation is drying quickly, watch for an announcement ending hazard burning any day now.

If you do plan to burn and have a permit, call (877) HAZ-BURN first. It’s the law.

Lake Kaweah is in its hold-everything stage, so the rise in lake level during the next few weeks will appear dramatic. As of Thursday, April 30, the storage was 87,897 acre feet or approaching 50 percent full. Capacity is 185,000 acre feet. The 10-year average for this date is 96,115 acre feet.

With the warmer temperatures this past week, peak flows in the Middle Fork at midnight — it takes at least six hours for that late-afternoon snow melt to reach Three Rivers — have been around 2,000 cubic feet per second. In a normal year, those flows in May can eclipse 5,000 cfs during a run of triple-digit temperatures. Don’t expect any rolling river thunder like that this year but do expect some triple-digit temperatures.    DUI accidents surge with

DUI accidents surge with
Warmer temperatures have Lake Kaweah in the fill mode. Storage has gone from one-third to nearly one-half of capacity in the past seven days. That trend will continue as long as there is snowmelt coming down the Kaweah drainage from the Sierra Nevada. DUI accidents surge with


One thought on “News Briefs: DUI accidents surge with warm weather; Tulare County opens rural testing sites; Lake Kaweah rising

  • May 1, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Beautiful photograph! Thank you.


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