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Loaded grape truck crashes on 99 ramp

Firefighters free trapped driver

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Loaded grape truck crashes on 99 ramp

The injured and shaken driver on an 18-wheeler stands near his rig after firemen cut him out of his cab after his truck - loaded with white wine - rolled over the embankment on the transition ramp...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED January 8, 2009 1:58 a.m.

Manteca firemen rescued a trucker pinned in his 18-wheel rig Wednesday afternoon after he was trapped  in a roll over off of the transition ramp between eastbound Highway 120 Bypass and the northbound lanes of Highway 99.

The truck out of Lodi was carrying white wine that was leaking from the overturned trailer.  The driver had apparently lost control at the apex of the turn and rolled over onto the embankment crushing the cab of the vehicle.

Firemen first put pieces of lumber in the soft dirt to support a brace that stabilized the vehicle before they began cutting into the rear of the cab with their Jaws of Life.  It took about 20 minutes before they freed the driver, placing a neck support on the man and moving him onto a stretcher before transporting him to an area hospital.

Northbound traffic on Highway 99 backed up as did eastbound traffic on the Highway 120 Bypass — slowing the commute to a crawl back to the Main Street overpass.

A CHP officer on the scene said it appeared to him that the driver had suffered only moderate injuries.  When the call was initially aired firemen feared they had leaking fuel from the vehicle that turned out to be just white wine that drained into the ground at the foot of the embankment.

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