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Thrill Seekers, Drivers Clash On Ride Down Steep Road

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GROVELAND (CBS13) – Skateboarders and tricycles are taking over a local roadway, so they can coast all the way down. Some of the daredevils have even videotaped the high-speed ride and posted it online.

Old Priest Grade Road near Groveland in Tuolumne County is difficult for some drivers, so the recent string of skateboard and tricycle stunts are concerning for both law enforcement and locals.

“I yelled out the window and said, ‘What are you are nuts? Don’t do that!’ He was gone by then,” said driver Steve Salnick.”

Salnick crossed paths with a skateboarder riding down Old Priest Grade Road near Groveland.

In an online video, you can see Salnick slow down in his blue car as the skate boarder takes off with a motorcycle filming from behind.

“He was right along side of us. He was up against the yellow line,” said Salnick.

California Highway Patrol officers are investigating a total of three separate stunts involving the skateboarder and a group of men riding adult-sized tricycles down the dangerous road, and then posting videos for the world to see.

“They are unsafe. You can clearly see throughout the video, you can see the skateboarder and the individuals riding the tricycles swerve left of the double yellows and use both lanes,” said Lt. Scott Clamp, CHP.

At some points, the thrill seekers force drivers to swerve to avoid a crash.

Old Priest Grade Road is a two mile stretch with points reaching a 20 percent grade, which drops about 1,500 feet.

CHP officers say riding a tricycle on this county road isn’t illegal, but the problem comes in crossing over the double yellow line, along with county rules, which ban skateboarders from coasting down the steep road.

Officers are also investigating reports that tricycle riders recently shut down the road to film a ride.

“I consider these riders in these trikes and skateboarders to be quite selfish. They are up here for their own notoriety, personal gain,” said Clamp.

Salnick is glad he passed the skater without problems, and hopes the county bans tricycles from the grade.

“It doesn’t have shoulders but you got to respect it. You got to know where you are at and understand what you are doing. It’s not just a piece of road,” said Salnick.

CHP says it is increasing patrols in the area in hopes of catching the pranksters in the act, and fear copy cats will emerge.

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