A group of Good Samaritans in California jumped into action Monday to help save an elderly couple who were inside a burning car along the highway.
5 Good Samaritans from the @eastcountytlc pull a couple in their 90s from Phoenix out of their burning car on I-8 to safety on #LaborDay. The elderly couple is recovering from burns in the hospital along with 1 of the Good Samaritans who got burned on his arm. @CBS8 @LakesideFire pic.twitter.com/fDvePzB1A5
— Heather HOPE (@HopeNEWS8) September 8, 2021
“It happened so fast, we just reacted immediately,” said Jeff Lucas. “There was someone needing our help, and there was no one there to help, so we are thinking ‘wow, this is going to explode soon,’ as the fire was near the gas tank.”
Ken and Joan Williamson, both in their 90s were vacationing in San Diego from Phoenix over the Labor Day holiday.
The couple’s son said his parents’ car caught on fire after it was rear-ended.
“Everyone who 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. I just want them to know that they saved two absolutely beautiful people, and we would love to have information to thank him personally,” said Mark Williamson.
There was so much smoke in the car, the men couldn’t tell how many people were trapped inside.
“We just saw this guy, and he is stuck in his seatbelt, so we kind of snatched open the door, and unbuckled the seatbelt. My buddy Barry snatched him out of the car and carried him to the side of the road,” said Andre Leggett.
“I saw how big the flames were,” Henry Hemphill told Fox5. “I realized a few more seconds maybe we may have been too late.”
The brave men are all residents at a facility that offers temporary housing for those experiencing homelessness.
Hemphill pointed out that a year ago, he would have probably kept driving instead of stopping to help.
“I was so wrapped up in myself and had my own agenda,” he said. “Here at this program, I’ve changed. We have all changed.”
Hemphill and Leggett said if they had to do it again, they’d be happy to help the couple.
“I’ve struggled with my own issues in my life,” Leggett admitted to the station. “I’ve been a very self-centered person for a majority of my life and I would just want somebody else to do that for my mom, for my father.”
“I am glad that they are okay and glad that God took care of them and hopefully they will be okay,” said Scott Andre.
Williamson said his father sustained some burns on his left side and his mother had a few abrasions.
“We are just so grateful. These guys are heroes to us and to our parents for stepping up immediately, and that is phenomenal,” Williamson told KFMB-TV.