A 70-year-old driver crashed his vehicle into a California medical building in such a way that it left him unable to get out without rescue assistance as the car was suspended 20 feet above a staircase.
The incident occurred Wednesday just before 10 a.m. at Kerny Mesa medical center in San Diego, according to 10News. KSWB-TV reported officials saying the motorist became startled by someone honking at him and hit the gas, which caused him to lose control of his car, wedging it between two buildings over the stairs.
Jody Taylor, who witnessed the scene and almost was hit herself, captured terrifying photos showing the conscious driver inside his Toyota Camry before he was rescued. In an email to TheBlaze, Taylor explained that she herself was on the way to a doctor’s appointment when she tripped over a raised part of the road. Just in that moment, she saw the car speed past her, nearly hitting a van coming out of the parking garage before it crashed into the metal rails and the Children’s Hospital.
“I immediately ran to the car,” Taylor wrote to TheBlaze. “Honestly it felt like it took me forever because I didn’t know what I was going to see; if he hit any kids, etc. As I got closer I saw he was hanging on the edge. And I started yelling ‘Don’t move…don’t move!!’”
She said the man seemed “dazed and confused” and appeared to be trying to get out of his seat. Taylor said at that point she yelled at the man to stay seated and to look at her through the side mirror.
“I told him he had to sit still and not move,” Taylor continued. “Inside I was freaking out. I was an EMT for 13 years and knew this was not good. [I didn't] know if the car was going to lose balance and fall. I looked under the car and [saw] one window shattered and then the second large 15 foot window was starting to crack and small building pieces were starting to pop off. I turned around and there was a security guard next to me and I yelled to her ‘get everybody out of that building now!’”
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department came to help the man out of the car, which took about 20 minutes once they found it was stable. Taylor told us that they secured the car and ended up taking Fred out through the passenger door on the right side of the car. During this time, Jody was able to get Fred’s daughter’s phone number and call her to come be with her father.
10News reported that the man was evaluated by medical professionals once he was rescued and was not injured. Fire department spokesman Maurice Luque told 10News it was “through the grace of God and some good luck” that the car went straight across and didn’t go down, hood first into the stairwell.
Taylor agreed saying it was amazing that Fred’s car got just enough air to wedge itself the way it did.
Watch KSWB’s report showing footage of the scene:
Taylor said she’s learned at least two things from this experience.
“1. The name Fred will forever remind me of him. 2. I won’t ever get [mad] again for tripping [and] getting slowed down. I think we are all always in such a hurry and you never know when fate is slowing you down for a reason.”
This story has been updated to include more photos and information from Jody Taylor.
(H/T: UT San Diego)