A pickup truck ran off Parker Road east of Modesto this morning, plunging down a 40-foot embankment and splashing into Dry Creek.
The driver climbed onto the hood and firefighters rescued him.
Michael Abbott said he was westbound on Parker near Church Street shortly before 9 a.m. when his brakes locked and the car ran into the creek.
"I didn't know where I was until I felt the water on my feet," he said during a brief interview.
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Abbott, a Modesto attorney, was on his way to court in downtown Modesto when the accident happened.
Paul Stoeck, a California Highway Patrol officer, said speed did not appear to be a factor, although the accident is still under investigation. He did not rule out inattention.
Abbott's truck, a Toyota Tundra, rolled twice landed right-side up in the water, according to Mike Wapnowski, battalion chief with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District.
Witnesses on the scene quickly called 9-1-1.
At first, Abbott couldn't get his door open. The water rose to just below the bottom of the driver-side window, and he was eventually able to open the door and climb onto the hood.
Modesto and Stanislaus Consolidated firefighters were able to pull Abbott to safety. He was cold from being in the water. Paramedics checked him at the scene and he did not require hospitalization.
One of the safety workers at the scene said Abbott was lucky to be alive.
Abbott said once he had gathered himself, and discovered that he was going to be fine, his attention turned to his client files.
"They're toast," he said. "And they're the only copies."
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