Smoke rises from a brush fire following a car collision near the intersection of Highways 12 and 26 on Monday afternoon. 

Two separate car collisions occurred on Saturday, April 17 in Calaveras County. Both involved motorists who were driving on the wrong side of the road.

The first occurred at approximately 10 a.m. on Highway 4, west of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported. While suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, Brooke Buchanan, 21, of Merced, allowed her 2006 Honda Civic to cross over the center line, directly into the path of a 2004 Ford F-250 driven by Thomas Sullivan, 61, of Dorrington. The vehicles collided head-on in the eastbound lane.

Buchanan was placed under arrest for a DUI causing injury and was subsequently airlifted to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment of major injuries. Her passenger, Dominic Appleby, 21, of Merced, was transported to Adventist Health Sonora with moderate injuries. Neither Buchanan nor Appleby were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. Sullivan sustained minor injuries and was treated at Adventist Health Sonora.

The second collision occurred at approximately 2:40 p.m. on Highway 26, east of Double Springs Road. Leslie Simmerman, 61, of Manteca, was riding a 2017 Harley Davidson westbound through a right-hand curve when he reportedly allowed the motorcycle to cross over the double yellow line towards a 2020 Ford Transit Van in the opposite lane. The van, driven by Gaberiel Kinney, 30, of Modesto, swerved to the right to avoid being struck. The motorcycle collided with the left side of the van in the eastbound lane.

Simmerman and his passenger Lisa Gumm, 54, of Stockton, were both airlifted to Modesto hospitals. Kinney was uninjured.

A third vehicular accident occurred Monday afternoon, north of the intersection of Highways 12 and 26, causing a quarter-acre brush fire near a house in the area, the Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District reported.

The CHP has not yet disclosed the names of those involved in the incident or whether anyone was injured. 


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