BY ERIC LINDBERG
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER
An off-duty sheriff’s deputy and several firefighters rescued two people after their car skidded off Highway 101 near Summerland and landed upside down near the train tracks, fire officials said.
At approximately 7:45 a.m., authorities said a collision involving multiple vehicles occurred in the southbound lanes of the highway south of the Sheffield Drive exit, sending a car over the side of the hill.
An off-duty deputy happened upon the scene moments after it occurred, in addition to two Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District employees on their way to work, said Charlie Johnson, a spokesman for the fire district.
“The off-duty deputy, upon learning that one vehicle had gone over the side, ran to investigate and saw a badly crumpled vehicle upside down on the railroad right-of-way and noticed an arm sticking out, waving for help,” Johnson said in a news release.
After grabbing his first-aid kit and rope pack, the deputy fashioned a rope system and rappelled over the side to reach the vehicle, authorities said.
Inside the wreckage, he found an 8-year-old girl and a 58-year-old woman, both conscious and alert, Johnson said.
“The young girl appeared to be uninjured while the adult female complained of back pain,” he said. “With the deputy’s assistance, the young girl was able to crawl out to safety.”
Two firefighters rappelled over the side moments later and helped extricate the woman, Johnson added. Both victims were stabilized on backboards and carried along the tracks to Lookout Park, where they were transferred into a waiting ambulance.
Johnson said medics took both patients to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for observation and treatment.
“It got a lot of attention early on and looks like it had a good outcome due to seatbelts being used,” he said.
California Highway Patrol officials did not have additional information they could release when reached yesterday afternoon. More details are expected to be released today.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
BY ERIC LINDBERG