MOJAVE – A 23-year-old suspected DUI driver is alive today, thanks to an off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer and two Good Samaritans.
The trio worked together to save Efrain Anaya after his truck careened into an empty field, overturned and then caught fire Sunday morning, authorities said.
Anaya was later determined to be driving under the influence of a controlled substance and subsequently arrested, according to a press release by the California Highway Patrol’s Mojave Office. Read it below:
On Sunday, July 20, 2014 at approximately 9:35 A.M., Mr. Efrain Anaya (male, 23, Rosamond), along with a passenger, Mr. Francisco Miranda (male, 21, Rosamond) was traveling southbound on 20th Street West, just south of Marie Avenue, in the community of Rosamond.
While driving southbound on 20th street, Mr. Anaya attempted to pass another vehicle using the northbound traffic lane. Mr. Anaya drove his vehicle onto the northbound dirt shoulder, at which time he lost control of his vehicle. Mr. Anaya attempted to regain control of his vehicle but ultimately drove into an empty, sandy field where it overturned and caught fire. Once the vehicle came to rest, Mr. Miranda was able to get out of the vehicle, but Mr. Anaya was trapped.
An off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer, Michael Burton, was traveling through the area when he observed the vehicle in flames and stopped to help the occupants of the vehicle. Officer Burton, along with two good Samaritans and Mr. Miranda, flipped the burning vehicle upright and rescued Mr. Anaya from the burning vehicle.
There were no other vehicles involved in the traffic collision. Both occupants were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision. Mr. Anaya was placed under arrest on suspicion of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, a violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152 (E) V.C. Mr. Anaya sustained moderate injuries as a result of the traffic collision and was admitted to Kern Medical Center for treatment.
This traffic collision is still under investigation.
The off-duty CHP officer was on his way to a family trip when he came across the collision. He helped pull the driver to safety without hesitation, despite the dangers, according to local CHP Spokesman Gil Hernandez. Officer Burton was simply “at the right place and time,” Hernandez stated.