On Monday, July 23, another driver rolled over and took out a fence in the 41000 block of North Fork Drive. Chalk it up to inexperience or brakes that locked up, but the end result was the same: another driver narrowly escaped serious injury or even death in a rollover accident in a location that has had multiple single-vehicle accidents.
The curve in the road, which is one-quarter mile north of the North Fork Bridge, is called Dead Man’s Curve by locals for good reason. In the last serious accident that occurred there last summer, a drunk female driver rolled her vehicle and a passenger in the rear seat was killed.
In this incident, the driver, Kyle Kiefer, 17, of Fresno was southbound on North Fork Drive in a 1999 Honda Civic. Kiefer told an investigating CHP officer at the scene that he was traveling at 45 to 50 mph when his vehicle started to swerve. When he applied the brakes, they locked up and when he attempted to avoid leaving the roadway, he over-corrected, crossed the roadway, hit a fence on the other side of the road, and overturned.
Both the driver and a passenger were helped from the vehicle and only sustained minor injuries. The Honda Civic was a total loss.
The driver was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment of lacerations. There was no evidence of alcohol or drug use as a factor in the accident.
“In accidents like these where no one else is hurt, the driver is not cited,” said CHP officer Mike McWain of the Visalia office. “There is a notation in the DMV file, and when it comes time to renew the insurance, the 17-year-old driver will likely see a hefty increase.”