Woman’s life saved after car crash in Carmel Valley

Several people helped save a driver’s life June 7 in the Torrey Hills area of Carmel Valley after she suffered a seizure.

A 55-year-old woman, who was driving a black Cadillac Escalade, was at the intersection of Carmel Mountain Road and East Ocean Air Drive about 2:20 p.m. when she had a seizure and drove across lanes of traffic, striking a signal pole and a fire hydrant, according to a police report.

John Smith, an Illinois resident who is in San Diego visiting his daughter, said he was nearby and heard a large crash. He said he ran toward the sound and found the woman trapped inside her car, which had been severely damaged. Smith said the fire hydrant had erupted and water was pouring onto the woman. Another man, Matt Johnson, said a cat cradle was taken from his car and held over the woman so she wouldn’t drown. Johnson said there were about four people, including himself and Smith, who helped the woman at the scene (not including firemen, paramedics and police).

“She would have drowned within a minute without protection given the force of the water pouring on her,” Smith said. “I could see under the dashboard that her ankle was completely broken. Fortunately, she was coherent the entire time. Anyone who saw the damage to the car knows she is lucky to be alive.”

Smith said that when firefighters arrived on the scene they stopped the water flow.

According to the police report, the woman sustained a serious lower leg injury. She was transported to a local hospital. The Traffic Division is investigating the incident, the police report said.