A group of Good Samaritans recently rescued an elderly couple in their 90s after their car caught fire on a California highway.
The couple, Ken and Joan Williamson, had been vacationing in San Diego from Phoenix, Arizona, over the Labor Day holiday.
According to their son, the Williamson’s car caught fire after it was rear-ended along Interstate 8 in Lakeside on Monday afternoon.
After seeing the burning car across the freeway, five men from the East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon sprang into action.
“It happened so fast, we just reacted immediately,” Samaritan Jeff Lucas told CBS News 8. “There was someone needing our help, and there was no one there to help, so we are thinking ‘wow, this is going to explode soon,’ as the fire was near the gas tank,” he added.
“We ran over there. A couple of the guys grabbed the wife, and the other two grabbed the husband who was driving,” Samaritan Harry Hemphill explained. “Even when the elderly gentleman was on the ground with his arms severely burned, he did not seem like he was in any pain. He was more concerned about his wife.”
The Williamson’s were burned from the flames and taken to the hospital, where they are expected to make a full recovery. One of the good Samaritans, whose name is Barry, was also burned and hospitalized after pulling Ken Williamson, who was driving, out of the car.
“We just saw this guy, and he is stuck in his seatbelt, so we kind of snatched open the door and unbuckled the seatbelt. My buddy Barry snatched him out of the car and carried him to the side of the road,” Samaritan Andre Leggett noted.
The five heroes are residents at East County Transitional Living Center, which was formed by the Southern Baptist Association and the City of El Cajon to provide better lives for hundreds of homeless men, women, and children.
Hemphill, whose life has been transformed by the program, explained how he probably wouldn’t have helped the couple in the past.
“There was a time when like so many of us, I would not have, we would have kept driving, but because of programs like ECTLC, we are changing, and in that change, we are not just being selfish individuals, but we look out for others,” Hemphill said.
“I’ve struggled with my own issues in my life,” Leggett told Fox 5 San Diego. “I’ve been a very self-centered person for a majority of my life, and I would just want somebody else to do that for my mom, for my father.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Trikolor
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.