Trisha Berg was at her house off Highway 49 Wednesday morning when she heard a loud crash.
She ran toward the sound.
"I know this road and how bad accidents can be on it," Berg said. "I knew it was going to be bad."
She came upon two vehicles — a brown-and-tan pickup truck and a three-axle dump truck. The pickup was almost unrecognizable. The bumper was smashed in back to where the cab began. The dump truck was on its side, and sand had spilled out, covering the road.
The driver of the dump truck was honking his horn, she said.
"I asked him if he was OK and he was," she said.
Berg said she and other passersby pulled the other driver, a woman, from the pickup truck moments before fire swept through the vehicle.
“I felt the heat on my back,” she said.
The California Highway Patrol said the accident happened about 10:15 a.m. just south of Springfield Road when the driver of the pickup crossed into the oncoming lane and hit the dump truck head on.
The woman, whose name was not released, was flown to the University of California Davis Medical Center with major injuries.
The dump truck driver, Larry Robinson Jr., 57, of Modesto, had minor injuries, CHP said.
The CHP said they did not know how fast the trucks were going when the accident occurred.
Highway 49 was closed for about four and a half hours.