UPDATED: Driver arrested on DUI charges in Bucks Lake crash identified

UPDATE 10 a.m.: The driver of the early morning crash has been identified as Archie Ray Beetus, 34, from Hughes, Alaska. According to the California Highway Patrol he was in the area working as a contractor for the US Forest Service.

Beetus was driving a 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 rental vehicle at a stated speed of 35 mph on Bucks Lake Road, just east of Big Creek Road. He was unable to navigate a sharp turn and the Dodge crossed both the eastbound and westbound lanes, traveled onto the dirt shoulder and descended the embankment. It collided with two trees before coming to rest in a driveway, facing northeast.

Following the collision, the vehicle caught fire, but Beetus had already exited and was removing fire equipment from the bed of the pickup. A passing game warden observed the Dodge as it caught fire and called for assistance. The CHP, Plumas County Sheriff’s Office and the Forest Service responded to the scene, and firefighters were able to put out the fire before it spread. An investigation ensued and Beetus was arrested for driving under the influence.

Original story: The Quincy California Highway Patrol reported that it received a call of a vehicle collision in the vicinity of Bucks Lake Road and Big Creek Road this morning at 1:16 a.m.

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Quick response from Meadow Valley Fire and the USFS prevented this vehicle fire from spreading to the national forest. Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

Upon arriving on scene officers discovered a vehicle fully engulfed in flames. The driver sustained minor injuries. Multiple fire agencies succeeded in keeping the vehicle fire from spreading further and causing additional destruction of public land. The driver was arrested for suspicion on driving under the influence of alcohol.

The CHP reminds drivers that if they are going to drink, please do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. “We are lucky that this incident turned out as well as it did with very minimal injuries and no significant fire damage to the forest,” a statement from the Quincy Area CHP Office read. “If not for the quick actions United State Forest Service and Meadow Valley Fire the end result could have been much different.”