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.