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Yuba City man rolls vehicle in drainage ditch, dies
A Yuba City man died Wednesday after his body was pulled from a partially submerged vehicle in a drainage ditch east of Meridian.
Two farmworkers discovered the overturned red 1991 Honda Accord around 9:50 a.m. in a ditch south of Moroni Road. Rodney Dunn and Damon Oliver found the Adrian Romero, 74, unconscious and alone inside. They struggled pulling the Romero up the steep embankment before administering CPR.
"You could hear the water gurgling in his lungs," Dunn said later.
Paramedics and firefighters tried to revive him without success. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene.
California Highway Patrol investigators are looking into the cause of the crash. It was not clear how long the vehicle had been in the water.
"It is unknown at this time if a medical condition played a part in the collision or if drugs (or) alcohol were a contributing factor," the CHP said in a press release.
It appeared the Honda slid down a 10-foot embankment and overturned in the water, the CHP said. The man was not wearing a seat belt, the CHP said.
Heavy bleeding was seen coming from the man's head and face.
Oliver said it appeared the victim was on his way to work at an adjoining farm.
"He had a lunch pail, a rake and some other tools in there," Oliver said.
Santiago Ramirez, another farmworker, said fishing is common along the canal and at nearby Long Lake and the road is frequently traveled.
"Every day, a lot of people come up and down here," Ramirez said.
Dunn and Oliver spotted the vehicle while working and stopped to investigate.
"We saw the car and didn't know if it was dumped there, but it looked fresh," Dunn explained. "I jumped up on top of it to look inside and saw him."
About a dozen firefighters from the Meridian Fire Protection District responded, along with Sutter County firefighters and a Bi-County ambulance crew.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at/ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.