Crime

Sheriff investigating altercation after three-vehicle smash-up in North Fork

A Jeep involved in a three-car collision rests in the road near North Fork.
A Jeep involved in a three-car collision rests in the road near North Fork. Special to The Bee

An incident of road rage in North Fork led to a three-vehicle crash, some fighting and someone pulling a gun, authorities said.

The incident is under investigation by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office after reports that a driver might have rammed another car intentionally because of an ongoing dispute and that someone pulled out a rifle.

Madera sheriff’s Lt. Bill Ward said the sheriff’s office got a call from the California Highway Patrol about 7:53 a.m. Tuesday that a three-vehicle crash had just occurred on Road 225, near Douglas Ranger Station Road.

There was a report by a witness of someone having a rifle and that two men were yelling at each other and running back and forth across the road, the CHP told the sheriff’s office.

Additionally, a crowd of 15 people had gathered.

But by the time the first deputy arrived about 8:20 a.m., witnesses reported that “whoever had the rifle left,” Ward said. No deputies saw a weapon, he said.

The CHP arrived about 8:30 a.m.

Witnesses told the CHP that occupants of the vehicles had an altercation, CHP Sgt. Ethan Jackson said.

It appears that an orange Jeep was heading east on Road 225 when a red Dodge pickup and Chevrolet truck were driving behind. The Dodge rear-ended the Jeep, and the Chevrolet pickup rear-ended the Dodge, Jackson said.

No one was injured, he said.

The driver of the Dodge pickup said he didn’t see the Jeep, CHP officer Gary Fox said.

“No one is admitting it was intentional,” he said.

Ward said the sheriff’s office would likely investigate whether anyone brandished a weapon, whether anyone intentionally drove into another vehicle, whether any drivers were involved in a dispute or whether any actions involved disturbing the peace.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold

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