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Hilmar man escapes fiery crash with minor injuries

POSTED January 9, 2018 6:11 p.m.

A Hilmar man was able to scramble out of his overturned and crumpled dump truck before it went up in flames, escaping the fiery scene with minor injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The solo collision happened around 2:45 p.m. Monday on Turlock Road in a rural area of Merced County.

Larry Peterson, 69, of Hilmar was driving a 1999 International tri-axle dump truck along Turlock Road, when for an unknown reason he allowed the truck to drift off the road, according to the CHP.

In an effort to get the truck back on the road, Peterson turned the wheel to the left, but overcorrected, causing the truck to veer across both lanes of the country road before striking a power pole and overturning.

Peterson was able to get out of the truck without sustaining any burns. He did have minor lacerations from the crash.

The cab of the truck was fully engulfed in flames when the first responders arrived at the scene. The fire was put out by a crew from Cal Fire.

Peterson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, according to the CHP. The investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

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