At 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, Brett Mercer, 57, of Idyllwild, was driving eastbound on Highway 74 in a white 2001 Toyota Tundra at mile marker 57, west of the intersection with Highway 243, when, according to the California Highway Patrol report, a deer bolted into the highway and struck the right side of Mercer’s vehicle. Mercer was not injured. No passengers or other vehicles were involved. The deer died in the impact.
At 5:25 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, Linda Croulet, 73, of Anza, was driving a silver 2013 Ford pickup westbound on Highway 74 just west of Santa Rosa Road when, according to the CHP report, she allowed her vehicle to drift to the left, crossing the double-yellow lines. Her vehicle sideswiped a gray 2017 Jeep Cherokee driven by James Pippin, 71, of Portland, Oregon. Pippin had been driving eastbound at the time of the collision. The CHP report indicated alcohol was not a factor in the crash and that there were no injuries in the incident. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.
At 9:20 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Jorge Navejas, 24, of San Diego, was riding his 2016 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on Highway 74, west of the intersection with Palm Canyon Drive, when he made an unsafe turning movement that caused him to lay his bike down on the highway. Navejas sustained broken bones in the crash and was transported by American Medical Rescue ground ambulance to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. No alcohol, other vehicles or persons were involved in this incident.
At 4:10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Amelia McMahon, 48, of Idyllwild, was driving a silver 2016 Hyundai Sonata eastbound on Highway 74 near the intersection with McGaugh Road when she allowed her vehicle to cross over the center line. Her vehicle collided with a red 2000 GMC truck driven by Vincent Fontaine, 55, of Hemet, who was driving westbound on Highway 74 at the time of the crash. According to the CHP report, McMahon had been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was arrested at the scene. No passengers or other vehicles were involved in the incident and both vehicles were towed by Idyllwild Garage. In a follow-up to an article published in last week’s paper regarding Charles “Chic” Fojtik’s account of his collision with the Tree Monument sign, the CHP report of the incident was not created at the time of the Nov. 28 incident but later, in early December, according to Officer Ed Nunez, CHP Pass Station. In that still preliminary report, the only narrative is that Fojtik allowed his vehicle to veer toward and strike the sign. There is no other narrative at this time.
California Vehicle Code 16000 requires a police report to be filed if damage is in excess of $1,000, which is the case because his vehicle was totaled, according to his insurance company, as reported by Fojtik.