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Local News

Good Samaritan Pulls Driver from Burning Vehicle Off Highway 101 Near Nojoqui Grade

Vehicle catches fire after going over the side of the highway about 70 feet into a steep ravine

A Good Samaritan is being credited with pulling an injured driver from a burning vehicle following an accident Friday on Highway 101 south of Buellton.

The vehicle plunged over the southbound side of the highway and caught fire near the Nojoqui Grade at about 10:10 a.m., leaving the driver with moderate injuries, according to Capt. David Sadecki of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The Good Samaritan, whose name was not released, was able to get the driver out of the vehicle, Sadecki said.

Emergency crews found the vehicle on fire, and firefighters extinguished the flames by 10:30 a.m.

As of 10:55 a.m., the driver was out of the vehicle, but rescuers were having difficulty bringing the person out of the ravine because the vehicle was 60 to 70 feet down the hill, Sadecki said.

Firefighters had to use chainsaws to remove vegetation to gain access to the vehicle, and then used a low-angle rope system to carry the patient up to the highway, Sadecki said.

An off-duty firefighter also assisted with the driver, and the rescue took about an hour to complete

Two engines and a battalion chief from Santa Barbara County had responded to the scene, along with two ambulances from American Medical Response, the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit and the California Highway Patrol

The driver was transported to the hospital via AMR ambulance with moderate injuries.

The rescuer was treated at the scene for minor injuries, but refused transport to the hospital.

Sadecki said the highway was wet due to heavy rain in the area and that the number two lane was closed for about an hour and a half. 

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the CHP. 

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Emergency crews respond to a report of a vehicle that had over the side of southbound lane of Highway 101 near the Nojoqui Grade. (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)
Emergency crews respond to a report of a vehicle that had over the side of southbound lane of Highway 101 near the Nojoqui Grade. (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)

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