LANCASTER – Bystanders rescued a 69-year-old woman who hit her head on the ground and was knocked unconscious as she tried to escape a burning vehicle in Lancaster Friday afternoon, witnesses at the scene said.
The vehicle fire was reported around 1:22 p.m. Friday, July 31, on the corner of 15th Street West and Avenue J, according to Inspector David Dantic of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Firefighters arrived on scene around 1:28 p.m. and the call was closed at 1:49 p.m., Dantic said, adding that no one was inside the burning vehicle when firefighters arrived.
Witnesses at the nearby Avenue J bus stop said two men helped the vehicle’s occupants to safety before firefighters arrived.
One of the men, Lancaster resident Anthony Carter, said he noticed smoke coming from the front of the Buick as it was stopped waiting to make a right turn from 15th Street West onto Avenue J. Two women were inside the vehicle, Carter said.
‘I said, ‘look that lady’s car is smoking,’ and then I turned to get up and the car caught flames,” Carter said. “Everybody was screaming, ‘Get out the car! Get out the car!’”
As he ran to the car, the woman in the passenger seat tumbled out of the car and hit her head on the ground, Carter said.
“She was laid out by the car, knocked out. So I grabbed one side of her and the homeboy grabbed the other, and we got her out the way from the car,” Carter said.
“After me and Anthony pulled her from the car, it went poof! It went up in flames from front to back,” said the other good Samaritan, Kenneth Chapman.
Carter said he then ran back to the burning car.
“I go back like a fool and get her purse out,” Carter said. “Then the car exploded.”
The woman’s son, who did not want to be named, said his 69-year-old mother was on her way to a doctor’s appointment at the time of the incident. The vehicle was being driven his sister, he said.
“They had just left home, hadn’t even been gone 15 minutes,” he said.
“She got cuts on her face now because she fell, hit her head,” the son said, adding that his mother was injured, but not burned. The woman was transported to the hospital, and the extent of her injuries was not immediately available.
Her son repeatedly thanked the good Samaritans at the scene.
“She was a person, she needed helped help, so I did what I had to do,” Chapman said.