Wreck on the highway

Rocklin man rescues trapped truck driver
By: Brad Alexander, The Placer Herald
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John Crabtree, 51, of Fair Oaks was arrested on suspicion of driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol after rolling his triple-axle septic truck. The accident occurred on Interstate 80 near the Highway 65 exit in Roseville around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. Crabtree's 2,000-gallon load truck was carrying raw sewage when he drifted into the right shoulder. Kelly Baraga of California Highway Patrol reported that Crabtree then hit the guardrail, turning his vehicle sideways before he hit the turnoff sign for Highway 65. The truck caught fire, while Crabtree was still inside. Claude Walker, 33, of Rocklin freed the injured Crabtree. "The truck was completely engulfed in flames," said Walker, a carpenter. "He had to get out of there somehow or he would have burned to death." Walker hooked his arms under those of Crabtrees and dragged his body out of the burning cabin. Walker said the truck's flames grew drastically just a few seconds later. Walker was heading home from work with his co-worker when their Ford F-350 saw the accident. Crabtree was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with moderate injuries. Crabtree was later admitted to Placer County jail about 7:30 p.m. Monday evening. The driver of the pickup truck left the sign of the accident before law enforcement could speak with them, the CHP said. And authorities would still like to speak with person responsible for Crabtree's rescue. Eastbound I-80 was shutdown for about 20 minutes following the accident and traffic was said to be backed up as far as the Interstate 80-Capital City Freeway split. Crabtree is being held on $2,500 bail.