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January 30, 2014

Nurse pulls 3-year-old from wreck seconds before blaze

The Modesto Bee

HUGHSON, Calif. — A 3-year-old boy was pulled from a vehicle involved in a fatal crash on Albers Road north of Hughson on Tuesday afternoon, seconds before it became engulfed in flames.

The Chevrolet pickup in which he was riding was traveling south on Albers north of Highway 132 when for unknown reasons it veered into oncoming traffic about 2:45 p.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Parsons.

The Chevrolet hit head-on a northbound Ford F-250 pickup pulling a trailer on the bridge that crosses Dry Creek. The vehicles came to rest in the opposite lanes from the ones in which they were traveling.

A witness to the wreck, a registered nurse, went to check on the occupants in the Chevrolet and saw the 3-year-old boy in the back seat, said CHP Officer Chuck Leon.

Leon said the nurse released the boy from the car seat as the truck began to catch fire. By the time he'd taken the boy to safety, the truck was fully engulfed in flames.

The 29-year-old woman from Hughson who was driving the Chevrolet died. She has not been identified.

It's unclear whether the woman died as a result of the crash or the fire, but Leon said the nurse had checked the driver while he was rescuing the child.

"There was no pulse on the driver; that's when he took the baby," Leon said. "When he came back, the vehicle was fully engulfed."

The toddler was taken by ambulance to a hospital for observation. Parsons did not know the child's relationship to the woman who died.

The driver of the Ford, 23-year-old Cesar Guzman of Keyes, was taken to Memorial Medical Center. His condition was not available Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2014 The Modesto Bee

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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