The LAPD hopes to find the good Samaritans who were captured on amateur video as they rescued a 69-year-old man from a burning car after a collision Sunday in California. The search for the men began Monday after the video from the scene was released.
This dramatic video shows a vintage automobile seconds after a rear-end collision trapped the unconscious driver in his burning car in Sherman Oaks, California. Witnesses rushed to car with a crowbar and a fire extinguisher and were able to keep the flames away from the driver as the worked to free him, by breaking the glass and prying the door open.
According to police, the 1932 Ford Model A (possibly a Model B) was rear-ended by a Hyundai traveling approximately 40 mph, then pushed into an oncoming Ford Expedition, after which the car burst into flames and came to a stop. The video picks up seconds later with the good Samaritans rushing to the unidentified 69-year-old driver's aid despite the danger from the growing flames and intense heat.
Police officers and Los Angeles Fire Department rescue crews said, "The rescuers disappeared as quickly as they appeared and they hope to find the good Samaritans who were captured on the amateur video saving this man's life."
Sergeant Beilski said today, "They still have not located any of the men involved , he expected the police department would wait till they found all of the men who worked to save the driver's and honor them together at one time."
Beilski said, "Detective Bustos will issue more information as soon as it's available, on the identities of the parties involved."
"It could have been much worse if it wasn't for them," said Officer Jose Garcia of the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division, when asked about the collosion.
"The LAPD has received hundred's of inquires on this accident, including one from France," said police department spokeswoman, Officer O'Brien.
Patrick Murray, who filmed the video and lives in an apartment near the intersection, said to the LA Daily News that he heard a loud boom and felt the building shake.
"You could feel a heatwave" from the burning car, said Murray, who stepped out on his balcony and saw "a wall of fire." He said he saw the passers-by running toward the burning car and grabbed his video camera.
"If you watch the video, you could see that I was shaking," he said. "These guys are desperately trying to get this person out of this vehicle. Even in the video you can hear one man screaming, 'Get him out of the car!'
The unidentified man was eventually pulled from the car and transported to a local hospital.
A police spokesman said, "Two women and two children, ages 6 and 9, were also treated at local hospitals for minor injuries but nobody was seriously injured in the multiple car accident.
Patrick Murray, who posted the video on YouTube.com along with LAPD and LAFD officials, say the good Samaritans should be recognized by the department. They also hope to reunite the victim with his rescuers, who left the scene without giving their names, if they prefer to remain anonymous.
"Nobody knows who they are," Murray said. "I think they should be commended, because without a doubt they were risking their lives."
Anyone with information about the rescue or the rescuers is asked to call the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division at 1-818-644-8000 to speak to the Detectives investigating the accident.