A smashed Toyota truck sat in the intersection of Crystal Boulevard, Monitor Road and Highway 49 in Diamond Springs around 9:15 a.m. on April 23. Shattered glass covered the intersection, with a few beer cans scattered about.
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Onlookers stood in the parking lot of Bobby’s Country Market, where they were shunted when the intersection was closed, as Cal Fire and Diamond Springs Fire responders worked to cut the male driver out of the 1985 Toyota pickup truck. Blood dripped from his hand as they put him on a backboard and gurney, with Medic 25 whisking him away. CHP Officer Phillip McCain later confirmed that the victim, Donald Guest, 70, of Diamond Springs, had fingers amputated, a shattered elbow, broken ribs and lacerations, and was transported to UC Davis Med Center.
Richard Quintana, Guest’s brother-in-law, said he was to meet the man to go work a job down the road. He saw the truck parked and thought Guest was waiting for Quintana. Instead, the truck, on further inspection, was mangled.
“I saw the front of the truck, and oh my goodness,” Quintana said. “I almost had a heart attack.”
From what he pieced together, he said, Guest ignored a stop sign and was hit broadside by an Interstate Batteries bobtail truck. McCain later said that Guest had ran the stop sign and that DUI was suspected as the cause.
“He didn’t even stop, he was coming from the market,” said Shaun, the passenger of the Interstate Batteries truck. The bobtail truck’s fiberglass hood was cracked open and a side panel shutter was heavily dented inward.
The larger truck hit the smaller “in the middle of the street, dead center,” said driver Russ.
As far as Shaun could tell, Guest had swerved into their lane, and Russ tried to swerve out, to no avail. The larger truck hit the smaller truck broadside, spinning it around into the right side of the bobtail. “You can’t stop a truck this size on a dime,” Shaun said, motioning to the large truck. He noted that it was easier to stop than it would normally be, as they had an unusually light load of batteries that day.
The bobtail truck sat on the shoulder of Crystal Boulevard, just west of the market; they had been on their way to Plymouth, Russ said. The truck was leaking diesel fuel as a fuel line had been punctured.
At the scene Diamond Springs Fire Chief Robert Combs noted that as the incident happened on a highway, “Cal Trans will come clean this up.” It wasn’t much of a hazard, as between 10 and 20 gallons had leaked.
Cal Fire, Diamond Springs Fire, California Highway Patrol and Medic 25 responded to the incident.