Fourth of July traffic along Highway 41 in the foothills near O’Neals was stalled and two men were sent to the hospital after a two-vehicle crash that might have been caused by a bug distracting one of the drivers.
The driver of a Honda Civic was southbound, near Jewel Vista Court, just after 10 a.m. when he began trying to shoo away a bug. The 24-year-old Santa Clarita resident apparently became distracted, swerved off the highway and struck a rock on the west shoulder, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Lincoln McKenna said.
With the Civic on its roof, McKenna said, it was struck by a northbound Chevy Silverado.
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The pickup driver, a 31-year-old believed to be from Mariposa, swerved before his vehicle went down an embankment. He suffered a “compound fracture” of his left leg, McKenna said. The driver of the Honda suffered a left arm injury. Both were taken to Community Regional Medical Center.
The crash was reported just after 10 a.m. Within about an hour, northbound cars were again moving after traffic in both directions had backed up for about two miles. Just before 1 p.m., the incident was shown as cleared though some delay still was expected.
A CHP helicopter also was sent to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.