Two men rescued after truck goes off Highway 37 and into canal

March 31, 2013 2:49:30 PM PDT
The California Highway Patrol is investigating what caused a man to run his truck off the road and into a body of water. It happened early Saturday morning on westbound Highway 37 near Wilson Avenue in Vallejo.

Caltrans workers equipped with a crane struggled to pull a demolished truck out of the water hours after it went airborne and crashed in Vallejo.

Just before 8 a.m., two Fairfield men loaded up the bed with scrap metal and headed for the recycle yard on Mare Island.

Darlene Cotton's husband, Danny, was in the passenger seat, "He really didn't want to go today," she said. "He was kind of tired but he said, 'well, Ken's going to drive, so I'll go.' And then this happened. He wasn't gone but 30 minutes from the house."

The CHP tells me the driver likely had some type of medical emergency as he was driving down State Route 37 at 55 miles per hour. He went 200 feet before he tore through marshland, crashed through a wrought iron fence, and landed in the canal. His passenger doesn't know what happened.

"Danny was, you know, messing with his phone, you know how people do," Darlene said. "Next thing you know, he looked up, and he was going off into the water."

The two men were able to kick their doors open and get out of the sinking car.

A Good Samaritan husband and wife helped them out of the water and called for help. But that's when the driver may have had a second medical emergency.

He was taken to John Muir Trauma Center with serious injuries. His passenger was treated for hypothermia and released.

"It had the propensity to be a fatal collision, and thankfully it wasn't," CHP Officer Todd Fetterly said.

"And he knew it," Darlene said. "And he's thanking God."

The investigation into what caused the crash continues.


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