Pixel Tracker

Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 12:44 am | Fair 44º


Goleta Women Credited With Saving Lives of 3 Men in Central Valley Crash

Two young women helped save the lives of three men Monday afternoon after one of them saw a vehicle crash into a canal through their rear-view mirror southwest of the city of Lemoore in the San Joaquin Valley, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At about 4:15 p.m., Goleta residents Emily Elmerick and Sydney Antles — both 19 and students at UC Santa Barbara — were traveling to Fresno on Highway 41 when they saw a pickup truck submerge into the water and flip upside down near Highway 41 and Newton Avenue, about 13 miles from Lemoore. 

“When my friend said, ‘Oh my gosh,’ I knew by the tone of her voice that something bad had happened,” Antles said. “By the time I turned around, I could see the truck hit the water.”

The two students were about 50 yards away when they stopped the car and Antles took off sprinting toward the accident.

Without hesitation, Antles dove into the cold, mucky water that ranged from three to six feet deep to save the drowning men, while Elmerick called 911.

For Antles, who had been rescued from a bad accident last year, plunging into the water was both an act of heroism, and a debt repaid.

“The water was almost up to my neck at one point as I tried to get through that mud,” Antles said. “The whole car was upside down, but when I reached the door, I could hear people yelling, and I was so thankful.”

It wasn’t long before more cars pulled over and about eight others jumped into the water to help flip over the truck.

One of the witnesses smashed the truck’s window, while they pulled out the two passengers and worked to rescue the driver, who was pinned inside the truck, said authorities.

“I could see his feet, but he was not moving,” she said. “I told them I knew CPR, and when they were able to get him out, they handed him over to me.”

She could feel a faint pulse, as he began to regain consciousness on his own.

By the time authorities arrived, the CHP said, the victims were out of the water. The unidentified men suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.

Both women are students at UCSB and from the Santa Ynez Valley. Antles was on her way to Fresno to visit a friend.

Antles’ mother, Nicole Antles of Solvang, said she wasn’t surprised to hear that her daughter jumped into the canal to try to help, given that Sydney had survived her own near-tragic car crash in 2015.

“That is the kind of person that she is,” said Nicole Antles. “She has incredible compassion for other people. And I am extremely proud of her.”

Sydney Antles was driving a Jeep Patriot with two passengers in Santa Ynez in November 2015 when she was broadsided by a Dodge truck.

The crash sent Antles and her passengers to the hospital with major and minor injuries. Antles was in critical care for five days and spent three months in a hospital bed recuperating at home.

“The doctors gave her a slim chance of ever walking again,” her mother said. “But she did it.”

Sydney Antles said she thought about her own accident as she made the decision to stop and help and how grateful she was for the rescue workers that took care of her.

“I knew there would be a moment where I could do the same for someone else and grabbed hold of that opportunity,” she said. “I wanted to be part of what people had done for me.”

The CHP said if it wasn’t for the courage of Elmerick and Antles, the victims would have died.

CHP officials said they are working on finding out who was involved in the rescue to give them formal recognition.

[Click here to read more from the Fresno Bee]

Robert Rodriguez and Andrea Figueroa Briseño are reporters with the Fresno Bee. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >