“I’m just glad I was there in a position to help out,” said Jeff Garrett after he pulled three people from a burning car near his house on Oct. 21.
The incident happened around 5:45 a.m on Laguna Boulevard between Haussman Street and Babson Drive. A single-vehicle crash was reported to the Elk Grove Police Department and officers were called to the scene.
A good Samaritan who heard the crash got all 3 occupants of the vehicle out while the vehicle was on fire. pic.twitter.com/iI6SB4E5OO
— EGPD (@ElkGrovePD) October 21, 2018
“When (officers) arrived, they found a good Samaritan who had heard the collision assisting the occupants of the vehicle,” Elk Grove police spokesman Jason Jimenez told KCRA 3.
The Good Samaritan, Jeff Garrett said a loud bang woke him up and he went out to his backyard.
“I heard a gentleman coughing and it sounded like he was in distress,” said Garrett, “So I looked over past some trees to the left and I saw the burning car. It was already… the engine compartment was already fully in flames.”
He swiftly climbed over the fence and ran toward the burning pickup truck. “I was a bit afraid of what I was going to see. Because it was clearly a bad accident,” he recalled.
“I heard the gentleman in the driver’s seat cry out in pain, and he was in flames at that point. His left leg was in the fire,” said Garrett.
The helpful citizen immediately started to unbuckle the three persons trapped in the vehicle and pull them out and away to safety. When he looked back, he said “the whole cab was completely engulfed.”
According to police, one of the occupants suffered life-threatening injuries. All three occupants, thanks to Jeff Garrett’s quick action, were later safely transported to a local hospital.
“Based on talking with the fire department that (was) here on scene as well as our officers, had he not acted, most likely these people’s lives would have ended this morning,” Jimenez added.
Elk Grove Police Department praised Jeff Garrett saying his “courage and efforts” enabled lives to be saved.
Garrett’s wife also praised his actions.
“I’m really proud. Not many people would have stepped up and done something like that. He doesn’t hesitate to help people,” said his wife Jennifer Garrett.
Jeff Garrett said he is just thankful that he was in the right place at the right time.