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Visalia truck driver injured in big-rig rollover near Livingston

A Visalia truck driver suffered major burns Tuesday morning in rollover accident on Highway 99 near Livingston, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Leslie Mathews Jr., 25, was taken first to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto and later flown to the UC Davis Medical Center burn unit in Sacramento, the CHP said in a news release.

Mathews was hauling a load of “extremely hot” wet distillers grain that crashed through the rear window of his 2013 Mack tractor-trailer and trapped him inside, burning his entire body, Officer Jason Schoonhoven said.

“Two people passing by stopped to help and pulled him out,” Schoonhoven said. “They very likely saved his life.”

The identities of the two people who stopped to help were not available Tuesday.

Mathews was heading south around 6:15 a.m. when his vehicle veered to the right and went off the road, where it rolled onto its right side, the CHP said.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been factors, investigators said.

The vehicle sustained major damage, the CHP said, but a loss estimate was not immediately available.

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