A San Dimas man will be honored Saturday by officials at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s San Dimas station for pulling a woman out of a burning car.
Sebastian Picardi was walking his dog around 6 p.m. Thursday when he saw a blue Mustang crash into a concrete barrier on San Dimas Canyon Road near Caballo Ranch Road and erupt in flames, according to Deputy Joanna Warren.
Picardi secured his dog, yelled to another person nearby to call 911, then ran full speed toward the fiery car where he found the driver, a 63-year-old woman, unconscious, Warren said.
Flames were coming through the dashboard as Picardi tried to awaken the woman and unbuckled her seat belt, Warren said.
“I thought she was dead,” Picardi said. Seconds later the woman regained consciousness, but grabbed the steering wheel and would not let go. Picardi convinced her to let go and pulled her from the burning car.
“As soon as I got her out from the driver seat, the car went up in flames,” Picardi said.
The woman was transported to a hospital in stable condition, but has since been released.
Deputy Humberto Inzunza soon arrived at the scene and found the unconscious woman and Picardi a safe distance from the burning car.
“This guy should get a medal,” Inzunza said. “I got there not even a minute after he got her out. By that time the fire was inside the passenger compartment and so hot I couldn’t get to the other side. I honestly believe if it weren’t for him she would have died. I couldn’t get close enough to the car to even try.”
“It really puts life in perspective,” Picardi said. “My main concern was her. I’m glad she’s okay.”
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