Crime - Sacto 911

Trucker said he and others tried to save man from fiery crash on I-5 in Elk Grove

Image captured by a Caltrans traffic camera of southbound Interstate 5 at 3:49 p.m. after a fatal accident.
Image captured by a Caltrans traffic camera of southbound Interstate 5 at 3:49 p.m. after a fatal accident.

A truck driver said he and other motorists used fire extinguishers in an effort to rescue a driver from a burning car following a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 5 in Elk Grove on Wednesday afternoon.

The crash occurred at 2:08 p.m., when a vehicle overturned and caught fire on southbound Interstate 5 at the Laguna Boulevard off ramp, according to the California Highway Patrol’s incident website.

Roy Luton, a truck driver, said in a telephone interview that he was the first to reach the vehicle after the crash. He raced to the car with his fire extinguisher and tried to douse the flames as he and two other people attempted to extricate the driver, who appeared to be an older man.

Luton said he stopped other truckers on I-5 who provided their fire extinguishers. He and others worked for two to three minutes before the fire became too hot, forcing them to retreat, he said.

“I just want the driver’s family to know that we did everything we could,” Luton said.

He said the vehicle hit a guard rail and a pole supporting a highway sign. The vehicle flipped over but landed on its wheels, he said.

Luton, a Merced resident, drives for Manteca-based Gardner Trucking. In his 18 years as a truck driver, Luton said he has assisted at a number of accident scenes and that this was the first time he was unable to get an accident victim out of a vehicle.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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