San Andreas, CA — Earlier this week two Valley Springs residents got into a serious accident that CHP officials say could have wound up even worse.
As CHP San Andreas Unit spokesperson Officer Toby Butzler recounts, the driver, Bernice Winge, 58, and passenger Lee Phelps, 65, were traveling in a 2000 Ford around 10 o’clock on Monday evening when the vehicle started giving them problems. Officer Butzler says the pair was aware that the reverse gear was not functioning
As they had been headed west on South Petersberg Road, they stopped somewhere west of North Shore Court in order to attempt a U-turn. Phelp got out of the vehicle to push it backwards since the reverse gear was not operable. Winge put the Ford in neutral and got out to help, after which, for unknown reasons, it popped into drive and ran Phelps over. It subsequently crashed into a cable fence and a tree before coming to rest.
Suffering major injuries, Phelps was life flighted to Modesto for treatment. Neither drugs nor alcohol were considered contributing factors. However, Officer Butzler remarks that the pair are fortunate no one was killed as a result and additionally warns motorists: make sure someone stays behind the wheel in order to apply brakes and other controls, as needed.