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Motorist Pulls Woman Out of Burning Car


A veteran UPS employee is a hero after he pulled out a female passenger from a burning car following a collision in Riverside County. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the incident occurred the morning of September 6, 2013 on Highway 60 west of Pedley Road in Jurupa Valley. California Highway Patrol officials said a 29-year-old Riverside woman was driving a Lexus east on the 60 when a 44-year-old man driving a Dodge pickup slowed or stopped in the number one lane. The Dodge burst into flames when the Lexus hit it.

Lawrence J. Sanchez, who has worked for UPS for 30 years, saw the collision. He and other motorists stopped and pulled a passenger in the Dodge, a 25-year-old Los Angeles woman, from the vehicle. Sanchez then grabbed his fire extinguisher and sprayed her. Sanchez described the scene as one of the most horrific things he has ever seen and said that the woman’s head was on fire. The woman was transported to an area hospital with first and second-degree burns over 70 percent of her body. The man in the Dodge and the driver of the Lexus suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the injured victims of this car crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. I also commend this driver whose heroic actions may have saved the victim’s life.

Was Speed a Factor?

Based on this news report, it appears that the Dodge caught fire when it was rear-ended by the Lexus. It is unclear as to how fast the driver of the Dodge was traveling at the time. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

Fault and Liability
If the driver of the Lexus is determined to have been at fault, she can be held liable for the injuries and damages here. Injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault parties for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside car accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights best interests are protected.

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