Tree stops unconscious driver
February 24, 2003
A South Lake Tahoe man drove a pickup into a tree off Highway 50 after losing consciousness, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The wreck totaled the 1978 Chevrolet and sent Axel Regan, 19, to Barton Memorial Hospital with injuries to his face and chest. Regan was treated and released from the hospital Friday.
“A chemical substance being sniffed led to drug intoxication and his crashing,” said Sgt. Sean Patton. “We’re waiting the outcome of chemical tests from the Department of Justice to verify what drugs actually were in his system.”
Regan has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, Patton said.
The wreck happened at 5:20 p.m. just west of the Agricultural Inspection Station. There were no skid marks in the area, which sits 32 feet from the edge of Highway 50 near Chris’ Cafe. The truck was going about 45 mph at impact. Regan was wearing his seat belt.
“I tell you what,” Patton said. “If he was going about 10 miles an hour faster, he would be dead. There was significant intrusion into the cab of that truck.”
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In another wreck:
n Two people had to be extricated from a Toyota SUV on Friday night after the vehicle rolled onto its driver’s side on Highway 88.
The accident occurred about two miles west of Kirkwood Mountain Resort at 7:30 p.m. The SUV came to rest on the upper-portion of the driver’s arm and fractured it.
Lake Valley Fire Protection District firefighters used air bags to lift the SUV off the woman’s arm, then cut the vehicle’s roof off to free the woman and her passenger.
The cause of the accident has not been determined.