- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - A pair of 16-year-old cousins didn’t hesitate when they saw a single-car crash, rushing to pull a woman and her young child to safety after the vehicle rolled onto its side on a freeway near a Southern California mall, according to witnesses.

Elijah and Jovantay Henderson were waiting for their grandmother to pick them up Tuesday at Moreno Valley Mall when they saw the car spin out on nearby State Route 60, the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper reported (https://bit.ly/1TIgXHT ). The car flipped onto the driver’s side and came to rest against a chain link fence along the shoulder.

The boys immediately sprinted across the parking lot, climbed an embankment and slipped through a hole in the fence to get to the car, said Nina Ramos Hiers, who also saw the crash and went to help.

“They automatically just looked at each other and took off running,” she said.

The two teens leapt on top of the car and as Elijah held the passenger door open, Jovantay crawled inside.

The woman was frantic and trying to break a window to get free, Jovantay said.

“She was mostly worried about her baby and her baby’s safety,” he told the newspaper. “So I reached in and got her baby out and let her know that she was safe.”

He passed the child to another witness who came to help and then quickly went back to help the woman get out. The witnesses said they feared the fence might collapse under the weight of the car.

“She kept saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, my baby, my baby,’” Jovantay said. Hiers estimated the little girl to be about 3 years old.

After an ambulance and the California Highway Patrol arrived, the teens stayed behind to be interviewed as witnesses, but not before borrowing Hiers’ phone to let their grandmother know where they were.

The teens’ grandmother, 66-year-old Carol Ross, said she is extremely proud of how they acted.

“I think it was very nice to help them, and a miracle that they were there,” she said.

The CHP is investigating the crash. There was no word on any injuries.


Information from: The Press-Enterprise, https://www.pe.com

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