Prison food manager enlists help of truck driver to pull man to safety
By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
A state prison employee came upon the scene of a head-on collision on Highway 12 and helped pull someone from the wreckage.
Assistant Correctional Food Manager Joseph Jasso was on his way to work at California State Prison, Solano, on April 10 when he was one of the first to arrive at the scene of an accident.
“A (car) had been struck and … was upside down on the left hand side of the highway,” Jasso said. “I pulled over (to) the side of the highway, grabbed my cell phone and ran across the street to see if anyone was in the vehicle.”
Inside, he found a man pinned behind the steering wheel.
“I immediately called 911,” he said. “I asked if (the victim) was OK and he started asking me for help. I ran back across the street to grab my crowbar out of the trunk so I could deflate the airbag.”
While Jasso was getting the crowbar, a big rig pulled over, so he enlisted the driver’s help.
“I told him I need to deflate the airbag and asked if he could help,” Jasso said. “(The truck driver) shielded the victim’s face while I deflated the airbag. (Then) I was able to get under the steering column and release the steering wheel so we could free the victim’s legs.”
The two then gently pulled the man to safety and waited for paramedics to arrive. He also called the victim’s wife to let her know the situation.
“(I told her) he was OK and we were waiting for help,” Jasso said.
The second vehicle’s occupant was killed in the crash, according to authorities.
According to the Lodi News-Sentinel, “a Toyota driving west at an unknown rate of speed veered into the eastbound lanes for unknown reasons at about 6:36 a.m. … on Friday. The Toyota hit another vehicle traveling east at about 55 miles an hour.”
According to the news story, “the impact caused the second vehicle to roll over on its roof on the dirt shoulder south of the highway, then back across the eastbound lane before going off the north side of the road.”
The first vehicle ended up in a canal near the roadway and the driver was killed, authorities said.
“I am glad I was able to assist and help,” Jasso said. “If asked if I would do it again, my answer is, most definitely. CHP thanked both me and the truck driver who assisted.”
Warden Eric Arnold said he was proud knowing Mr. Jasso selflessly acted without hesitation to save a man’s life.
“I am honored to have people like Mr. Jasso working at CSP-Solano,” he said.
Learn more about CSP-Solano, https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Facilities_Locator/SOL.html