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Citizens and police officers rescue unconscious driver after downtown Santa Barbara crash

Vehicle crash De la Vina
John Palminteri

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Citizens jumped in within seconds of car accident in downtown Santa Barbara to help save a life Thursday.  The efforts have been called heroic.
About 11:20 a.m. the female driver went over the curb in a Volvo station wagon.   It plowed over a  pole sign and went head on into a large tree on the 1500 block of De la Vina near Micheltorena Street.

Those who rendered aid said it was a slow speed crash and narrowly missed a woman and a child.

When they got to the driver, "we could tell she was unconscious, we did not know if she had had a heart attack.   So we pulled her from the car and I started CPR while somebody else called 911," said witness Candice Gregory who started CPR.
Elizabeth McAdams got out of a car and comforted the driver saying,  "we're here, stay with us, stay with us. "
 McAdams  joined others and said, "I opened her car door, undid her seat belt,  pulled her out,  put her on my legs and pulled someone else over to do CPR."

Zohe Felici a resident nearby was on her phone to police with information within seconds. "They jumped right in as I was on the phone with 911,  they were pulling her out of the car and started the CPR."

 Santa Barbara police officers, nearby raced in and helped with life saving care as city fire and AMR came in seconds later. Officers took over CPR from the citizens and fire fighters did the same as soon as they got on scene.  They also used their life saving equipment from their engine to keep the drivers heart pumping.

"Two officers were on scene within minutes of the call to our dispatch center.  They started immediately rendering aid after the citizens in this neighborhood came out and started assisting the driver in this incident," said Santa Barbara Sergeant Ethan Ragsdale.

About 10 minutes of CPR took place before the driver was transported to Cottage Hospital breathing and under urgent care. Those who stepped inare being credited for their heroic efforts.
Ragsdale says the accidents is under investigation and "it's either a traffic collision that caused the injuries to the driver or it could have been a medical emergency that caused the collision."

Police say late Thursday afternoon, the driver was alive and under care at Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital.

Article Topic Follows: Safety
Santa Barbara
traffic accident

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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