Pedestrians narrowly escape being hit |

Pedestrians narrowly escape being hit

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Illustrating how tough it can be as a pedestrian in South Lake Tahoe, Carrie Goff saw a little more than she might have hoped to on Monday.

The San Diego woman, who’s been in town visiting her friend Michelle West over the last few days, dodged flying debris from a car crash when she crossed Al Tahoe Boulevard at Highway 50.

A blue Dodge Caravan and white Plymouth Neon crashed at the light, backing up westbound traffic to Lakeview Avenue.

Police are investigating which driver ran a red light.

No one in the vehicles was seriously hurt, but the two bystanders considered the crash at 1:15 p.m. a close call.

“We were walking across the street and saw these cars coming for us,” West said, pointing to the northwest side of Highway 50. “We looked at each other and both yelled ‘Run.'”

Goff said she felt lucky to have negotiated the scary situation because she felt debris hit her body.

“I felt if we weren’t quick enough, we would have been hit by those cars,” she said.

The driver of the Caravan heading east on Highway 50 admitted being grateful that his air bag inflated. The front end of the car was crushed like a folded accordion.

“I didn’t even see him coming until he was right there,” said Wayne Chalk, a pastor of Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship. The South Shore man said the light was green when he made a left turn onto Al Tahoe and collided with Joson Van Nicholaslee, a San Francisco man who was driving the white sedan. It, too, showed heavy damage.

Chalk complained of knee pain as he talked to officers. Both denied medical transport.

Nicholaslee hopped into the tow truck, leaving the authorities to pick up debris in the road with traffic crawling through the busy intersection.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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