Christopher Buchannan, 43, of Chester was driving his 2009 Nissan Altima southbound on Highway 89 south of the Wolf Creek underpass at 5 a.m. Dec. 17.
According to the CHP report, he was driving south of the Wolf Creek underpass at a stated speed of 20 to 25 mph. The highway was covered in a layer of snow. There were no chain controls, and Caltrans was plowing the area. As the vehicle entered a moderate curve to the right, its tires lost traction on the snow-covered roadway. The Altima skidded out of the southbound lane, across the northbound lane, and across the snow-covered dirt shoulder on the east side of Highway 89 where the front of the Altima struck a reflective paddle marker.
The Altima then continued to skid over a steep embankment, facing south. Buchanan exited the vehicle through the driver’s door, climbed up the embankment and flagged down a passing logging truck. He asked the driver to call 911 when he got to cell phone range. Buchanan started walking north along Highway 89 until a passing motorist stopped and gave him a ride to Evergreen Market in Greenville. An employee called 911 and Buchanan waited there until emergency personnel arrived. He was treated at Seneca for minor injuries.
The CHP reported that Buchanan was wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision which saved him from serious injury.