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Friday Grass Fire Caused By Solo Vehicle Accident
Santa Fe pix
Crews put out hot spots in a field along Santa Fe Avenue between Escalon and Riverbank following a Friday night accident touched off a vehicle and grass fire. Marg Jackson/The Times

The long holiday weekend got off to a smoky start for area firefighters.

A late afternoon accident along Santa Fe Road between Escalon and Riverbank on Friday, May 26 sent the driver to the hospital and started a grass fire.

The crash occurred around 5 p.m. and saw Stockton CHP, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputies, Stanislaus Consolidated Fire and Escalon Fire Department personnel all on scene of the crash, along with an ambulance response.

According to CHP officers, the driver – identified as a 37-year-old man from Riverbank – was southbound on Santa Fe between Hall and Henry roads when the car veered off the roadway and into a field. Witnesses to the crash were able to help the driver out of the car but officers said he became combative and had to be restrained from getting back in the vehicle. The car caught on fire, which then spread to the field.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation, though authorities said drugs or alcohol did not factor in to the incident. The man had some type of medical emergency, said the CHP, and was taken to a Modesto hospital for treatment.

Traffic in the area was briefly delayed while the rescue and firefighting crews tended to the incident.