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Two rescued from fiery Lake County pickup crash

A Lake County CHP officer on Sunday night saved the lives of two people when he pulled them out of a burning pickup that crashed after the suspected drunken driver swerved to avoid a car, the CHP said Monday.

The driver and two passengers remained hospitalized Monday afternoon.

Adam Garcia was the first officer to reach the crash, which was reported at about 8:30 p.m. on Highway 29 outside of Lower Lake, Sgt. Dave Stark said.

The driver had run off of the highway, sending the truck careening end-over-end through a field. It landed on its wheels in a creek bed.

Garcia found one passenger outside of the pickup but two people inside: Dow Walton, 58, and Regina Walton, 66, both of Lower Lake.

Flames from the engine were spreading into the cab through the broken windshield.

The driver's door was jammed, and Garcia reached in through the broken door window and tried to pull out the driver, Dow Walton. But one leg was pinned under the crushed dashboard and Garcia couldn't free the man, Stark reported.

Garcia reached over Walton for the woman. He pulled her over Walton, out through the broken window and away from the burning truck before returning to try again to rescue Walton.

After several tries, Garcia finally was able to free Walton's leg and pulled him to safety.

"Regina Walton suffered severe burns to her upper body but was saved from further injury due to the heroic actions of Officer Garcia," Stark said in a statement.


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