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Good Samaritan killed on I-80

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A commercial vehicle driver was killed after he crossed eastbound Interstate 80 near Blue Canyon to assist the driver of a vehicle early Thursday morning, reported California Highway Patrol spokesperson Todd Kettwig. Around 6:53 a.m., 33-year-old Matthew Sutton of San Francisco was driving his 2001 Jeep Cherokee on eastbound Interstate 80 at an unsafe speed when he lost control of the vehicle, Kettwig said. The car traveled down an embankment and Sutton, who was wearing a seat belt, climbed onto the highway and flagged down a Caltrans employee, who stopped to provide assistance. In addition, the driver of an eastbound truck and trailer vehicle combination stopped along the right shoulder of the highway. As the driver, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, approached the accident he was hit by a 2005 Ford F250 truck that had spun out of control, Kettwig said. The driver of the pickup, whose name is being withheld until an investigation is completed, apparently was also driving at an unsafe speed for the road conditions. He sustained minor injuries after his pickup hit a tree. The injured Good Samaritan was rushed to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. A third driver lost control of his 1969 Ford Bronco due to unsafe speed for the conditions, Kettwig said. Vincent Sugimoto, 45, of Alta, was traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 when he lost control of the vehicle, which went down an embankment. The drivers of all three vehicles had been wearing seat belts, which prevented them from sustaining serious injuries, Kettwig noted. “We are saddened by the loss of this Good Samaritan,” said CHP Gold Run Area Commander John Arrabit. “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his family.” Arrabit urges motorists to alert emergency personnel by calling 9-1-1 whenever possible. “If you decide to stop and help, please pull off the highway to a safe location and watch for approaching traffic,” he continued. “This will assist us with preventing future tragedies such as this one. During early morning travel, please be aware of changing road conditions and understand that ice could form on the road.” -- Gloria Beverage