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Truck Plunges 600 Feet Off New Priest Grade

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A driver and her passenger, both from Mexico, careened off New Priest grade Saturday evening after trying to pass slower traffic on the steep, downhill grade.

California Highway Patrol officers report Eva De Luna Santacruz and Alvaro Santacruz were traveling in a ´96 Dodge pick-up truck westbound when they crossed over the double yellow line of New Priest Grade east of Grizzly Road. Because of excess speed the driver allowed the truck to run off the roadway, plunging 600-feet down a steep mountain side embankment.

CHP say the truck overturned several times before coming to a rest at the bottom of Priest Canyon.

Tuolumne County Search and Rescue personnel were called into help assist CDF fire crews rescue the pair about 6:30 Saturday evening.

Amazingly, the two suffered only moderate lacerations and complaints of pain. They were taken by air ambulance to hospitals in Modesto.