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Good Samaritan pulls woman from burning car

By Claire Scholl, NewsChannel 3 Assignment Editor, assignmentdesk@keyt.com
John Palminteri, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Feb 08 2013 02:41:22 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 09 2013 05:25:04 PM CST

The driver of an SUV hits a soaked section of Highway 101 and loses control plunging down the embankment near the Nojoqui Summit south of Buellton. The vehicle then catches on fire. The driver escapes with moderate injuries.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -

A good Samaritan rescued a woman from a burning car on Friday morning.

Her car hydroplaned due to the heavy rain and spun out about 100 feet over the right side of the road.

It happened on the southbound side of Highway 101 near Nojoqui Summit.

According to Santa Barbara County Fire Captain David Sadecki they were able to put out the SUV’s fire shortly after crews arrived on scene.  "Firefighters had to use a chain saw to get down, cut through the vegetation to the vehicle," said Sadecki.

The good Samaritan suffered smoke inhalation and was treated on scene. The woman was transported by ambulance to the hospital with moderate injuries.

Officer Ken Guerrier with the California Highway Patrol said the passerby who got to the scene first, left quickly after the rescue and a few moments with fire and CHP officers. His name was not released.    Guerrier said the man showed tremendous bravery.  "The car was on fire, and the Good Samaritan did suffer some minor inhalation injuries, but he's gonna be OK. Job well done by him," said Guerrier.

One lane of the highway was shut down for about an hour by California Highway Patrol.

The CHP says after a dry period, rain can quickly make the roads unsafe. "You get this rain and oil comes to the top and you've got slick roadway conditions," said Guerrier. 

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