CORONA DEL MAR (CBSLA) — A group of good Samaritans joined forces in Orange County to stop an SUV from overturning after it jumped a curb and crashed into a tree — risking their own lives to save a passenger trapped inside.
The courageous act happened Wednesday after an SUV traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar jumped a curb, hit a tree and began to smoke and tip over. That's when a group of good Samaritans came to the rescue.
"My friend Jen actually told me, 'Mike you gotta go out there'," said Mike Ramirez, one of the Samaritans who helped. "They need your muscles."
Ramirez said the driver, who can be seen wearing orange in the video, jumped out of the SUV and tried to keep the vehicle from tipping over while the injured passenger was still trapped in the back seat. Immediately, more than a dozen strangers — some in flip-flops and even high heels — ran out to help.
"The first thing that came to my mind and everybody too was just you want to help," Ramirez said. "If someone is in need of help, you just run."
Despite concerns caused by the weight of the car or the fact that there was smoke rising from it, the group was able to upright the vehicle and pull the trapped passenger to safety.
"This whole bunch of people just came and started helping," Patricia Euzarraga, a witness who watched the scene unfold from a salon across the street, said. "That really got me because we didn't know if they were alive or not, you know, and they were all helping to live this really heavy car, and everybody was just trying for five minutes to get the door open. It was unbelievable."
The three people who were in the vehicle at the time of the crash are expected to recover from their injuries.
First responders warned that it is never a good idea to run toward a car that is smoking and about to tip over. Police are still investigating what caused the crash.
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