Becky and Jim Holton were on their way home Sunday night from buying a new car in Santa Rosa when a car ahead of them crashed off of Highway 29 on Mount St. Helena and burst into flames.
?My husband jumped out and went down there, smashed the front window on the driver?s side and pulled the driver out,? Becky Holton of Hidden Valley said Monday.
She called 911 and helped guide firefighters to the crash near Robert Louis Stevenson Park.
Another passer-by rescuer is credited with saving a woman in the car?s front passenger seat. He has not been identified.
The car ended up down a ravine about 30 feet off of the rural highway. Flames were engulfing the vehicle, trapping the occupants.
?We could hear her yelling and screaming,? Becky Holton said.
?The car was really on fire. He went down there to get this lady out,? she said. ?He was fantastic. He smashed that window.?
The car was partially on its side, with the passenger side less accessible. The second rescuer had to break the window and pull the woman through the limited access, she said.
?It was exploding. It was pretty scary,? said Holton, who took photos of the crash scene and rescue with her cell phone.
When firefighters arrived, the car was completely afire. Fire officials Monday credited the good Samaritans for saving the victim?s lives.
The driver, Enrique Garcia, 50, of Santa Rosa, was taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa and was treated for minor injuires. He then was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and not having a license, said CHP Officer Jaret Paulson.
His passenger, Manuela Garcia, 74, also was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, the CHP said.
The rescuers suffered minor cuts from the glass, Holton said.
?I?m proud of my husband,? she said, and of the stranger who also risked his safety.
The couple in the car didn?t speak English and the unidentified rescuer was able to translate for them when firefighters and paramedics arrived, she said.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.