CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Good Samaritans rescue couple from burning car
LAKESIDE, Calif. (KFMB) - Two seniors are recovering, thanks to five heroes who pulled them out of their burning car.
The rescue near San Diego was caught on video.
“It happened so fast, you know. We just reacted immediately,” Jeff Lucas said.
He and four other men jumped into action after seeing a car on fire just before 4:30 p.m. Monday in the westbound lanes of Interstate 8.
They were on the opposite side of the freeway, but parked in the median and rushed to help.
“Oh, my God. Somebody’s in there!” Marie Macrorie can be heard saying in a video of the rescue.
Macrorie shot the cell phone video, which shows the five men pull the couple from the car and carry them to safety.
“Ran over there. A couple of the guys grabbed the wife, and the other two grabbed the husband, who was driving,” Harry Hemphill, one of the men who helped, said.
The good Samaritans are all from the East County Transitional Living Center.
“We just saw this guy. He’s stuck in his seat belt, so we kind of snatched open the door and unbuckled the seat belt, and my buddy, Barry, snatched him out of the car,” another one of the men, Andre Leggett, said.
One of the rescuers, referred to only as Barry, is in the hospital with a burned arm.
“Even we didn’t even realize there was somebody in the passenger seat,” Lucas said. “That’s just how much smoke was in the car.”
None are more grateful than Steve and Mark Williamson, the sons of the rescued couple, who are now recovering at UCSD Medical Center.
“Our dad had some burns to his left side,” Steve Williamson said. “My mom got out with just abrasions.”
Ken and Joan Williamson were vacationing in San Diego from Phoenix for Labor Day, their sons said, when their Toyota was somehow hit from behind and caught on fire, unbeknownst to them.
“Everyone that saw that video knows that, if those people did not pull my parents out, we would not be having this discussion right now, so I can’t thank them enough,” Mark Williamson said.
“I’m glad they’re OK. I’m glad God took care of them, you know, and hopefully they will be OK,” Scott Andre, another one of the rescuers, said.
When asked why they quickly jumped to the rescue, the good Samaritans said it is the result of programs like the transitional living center.
“There was a time when, like so many, I would have, we would have kept driving,” Hemphill said. “But because of programs like ECTLC, we’re changing, and in that change, we are not just being selfish individuals but look out for others.”
The couple is expected to leave the hospital this week.
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