Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


East County News Service

September 19, 2018 (San Diego) -- Marine Sergeant Gary Wilson saved a woman from a burning SUV yesterday after a multi-vehicle collision, also freeing a second driver from the wreckage.

According to Officer Jake Sanchez with the California Highway Patrol, a white Freightliner truck was traveling south on State Route 163 just north of highway 52 at a high rate of speed. The truck rear-ended a Toyota Highlander, pushing it into several other vehicles stopped in heavy traffic.  The Highlander was pushed off the roadway and caught fire.

The Marine, who stopped to assist, saw the vehicle on fire and realized the driver was trapped in her vehicle. He broke the passenger side window with his elbow.

Then with help from a second Good Samaritan, the Marine pulled the woman, Poway resident Alexandria Garcia, to safety. She was bleeding from a head injury.

The Highlander’s driver was transported to Scripps La Jolla for treatment, as was the driver of a white Hyundai Sonata who also suffered injuries.

The other vehicles struck were a white Aurora and a red Jaguar.

10 News reports that Sergeant Wilson also pried open the door of a second vehicle and carried out an injured woman.

Sergeant Wilson told 10 News he was on his way to work on his motorcycle when he saw the accident. 

“I was doing my job as a Marine. We’re here to serve the people. Not just during war time, but all the time." 

Officer Sanchez says, “Without the assistance of the good Samaritans on scene, the outcome of this collision would have been much more tragic.”