Local law enforcement is investigating a fatal, single-car collision Wednesday morning that claimed the life of an as-yet unnamed, 51-year-old Fallon, Nev. resident and left a 21-year-old Lancaster woman with moderate injuries.
Alcohol is believed to have played a role in the crash.
The CHP is withholding the names of the two vehicle occupants, pending notification of the next of kin of the deceased.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the collision took place on Lundy Lake Road at U.S. Highway 395 just before 5:30 a.m. The CHP was notified of the crash about 5:36 a.m.
Multiple CHP personnel were dispatched to the scene, along with the Mono City Fire Department, Lee Vining Fire Department and two Mono County Paramedic units.
A CHP press release says officers arriving on scene located a 2004 brown Oldsmobile Alero with significant collision damage.
An investigation into the collision suggests the driver of the Oldsmobile was traveling westbound on State Route 167 “at a very high rate of speed,” failed to slow for the stop sign at U.S. 395, became airborne in a western direction, made a hard landing on Lundy Lake Road, traveled off the north road edge of Lundy Lake Road and rolled several times causing severe damage to the entire vehicle.
The report from the CHP states that damage from the collision trapped the driver in the vehicle. The passenger was able to exit the vehicle.
Fire department personnel arrived and were able to extract the trapped driver, who Mono County Paramedics determined was deceased at the scene.
The passenger was cared for at the scene and then transported by Mono County paramedics from Bridgeport to Mammoth Hospital.
“The vehicle contained multiple empty alcoholic beverage containers, and alcohol use appears to have been a factor in this fatality collision,” a press release from the CHP states.
The Mono County Sheriff-Coroner Department will be investigating the exact cause of the driver’s death and toxicology information obtained from the autopsy will be considered in determining if impairment by medication, drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor in this collision.
“I would estimate this vehicle was traveling at over 100 miles per hour,” said Bridgeport area CHP Commander Lieutenant R.D. Cohan. “It appears after leaving the road it traveled over 200 feet, only touching the ground four times before landing at its point of rest. This was very unfortunate, unnecessary and avoidable collision. I’m sure this was a terrifying experience for the vehicle’s occupants.”