» Audio: Listen to 911 Call
BOYDS - Good Samaritans are being credited with saving a driver and a passenger from a burning car after it slammed into a tree.
It happened Sunday around noon when a 2006 Acura driven by Jan Carlos Sanchez-Borjas, 19, of Germantown crashed into a tree near St. Mark's United Methodist Church on White Ground Road near Hoyles Mill Road. The car, which apparently was traveling at a high rate of speed, went airborne and burst into flames. One passenger, Andres Pinon, 28, managed to free himself from the wreckage.
Cousins Richard Talley of Germantown, Roland Talley Jr. of Gaithersburg and Nanette Hunter of Columbia came upon the wreck after leaving a family church service, according to Montgomery County fire officials. Motorcyclist Bart Servaes of Bethesda also was passing by, as were some bicyclists.
The group helped free an unidentified 15-year-old girl.
Servaes, who ran for help and called 911, says they used at least four church fire extinguishers on the car's burning engine block, but the flames persisted.
When the fire spread to the driver's compartment, Servaes dropped his cell phone and rushed to help the other two men who were struggling to pull Sanchez-Borjas, whose legs were pinned, from the car.
Servaes doesn't see his actions as heroic. He just helped the others, he says.
"They led by example. Because of their example, I went and helped," Servaes.
"They didn't yell. They didn't scream. They just kept pulling. I am still amazement for these people. When I think about it I still get the chills."
Lt. John Peppels, who handled the 911 call, credits Servaes with being very clear about the location and circumstances of the crash. That helped speed emergency workers and two Medevac helicopters to the site.
When emergency workers arrived, they found not only the car but also the nearby bushes and trees on fire.
As of late Tuesday, Sanchez-Borjas and the teenage girl were reported in critical condition, and Pinon had been released from the hospital.