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Yosemite offramp closed almost 12 hours
Manteca firefighters work to extricate a truck driver after an early morning accident on Highway 99 near the southbound off ramp.

The southbound offramp to Yosemite Avenue from Highway 99 was closed for almost 12 hours on Thursday after a big-rig hauling grapes crashed through the guard rail and spilled diesel all over the roadway. 

According to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Charlie Katzakian, the tractor-trailer was traveling southbound on Highway 99 early Thursday morning when it crashed through the guardrail and came to rest down on the offramp to Yosemite Avenue at around 3:20 a.m.

The driver, who was not identified, was believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel. Firefighters from the Manteca Fire Department extricated the driver from the crumpled cab.

Neither drugs nor alcohol is believed to be factor in the incident. The driver sustained major injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. No other vehicles were involved in the collision. 

A Sigalert was issued for the electronic bulletin boards on Highway 99 notifying traffic of the closure, which was lifted shortly after 3 p.m. According to Katzakian, in addition to the load of grapes that the truck driver has hauling, the truck spilled more than 150 gallons of diesel fuel on the roadway, which prompted the response of a hazardous materials crew for cleanup. 

California Highway Patrol provided incident command for the crash until the offramp was opened back up to motorists. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.