Two quick-acting teens and a third Good Samaritan are being hailed as heroes for rushing to save a man and woman trapped in a burning car that crashed in Southern California.
Alex Schrier and Jeffrey Bounds, both 16 and teammates on their high school baseball team, spotted the vehicle on its side and in flames late Friday along a road in Orange County. Alex dialed 911 while Jeffrey rushed to the car along with an unidentified man who also stopped to help.
“As I got closer I could see the flames getting closer and closer to the main part of the car, and I heard someone screaming,” Jeffrey tells the Orange County Register. The man used a large rock to break through the glass sunroof, and they pulled the trapped passengers—a man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s—out of the burning vehicle.
“We got them out and then it just started to just blow up,” Jeffrey says of the fast-moving flames.
“Honestly, I’ve never been more scared.”
The woman sustained head and shoulder injuries, county fire Capt. Steve Concialdi says; the male passenger had minor injuries.
Concialdi commended the rescuers’ actions. “All three of them played a role to save those people,” he says. “Alex had to call 911 to get our resources there so the fire [didn’t] spread and become a bigger problem. And the other two, they did what they should do.”
Santa Margarita Catholic High School plans to honor Alex and Jeffrey in the coming weeks. The teens brushed aside any notions of heroism, saying they acted out of a sense of duty. “If there’s a flipped car on fire, my first instinct is, ‘They’re going to die if we don’t do something,'” Alex says.