The California Highway Patrol will recognize two men—one a Morgan Hill resident—for saving the lives of two people involved in a 2017 traffic accident, according to authorities.
An awards ceremony for Jose Perez, of Morgan Hill, will take place on a date to be announced at the Hollister-Gilroy Area CHP office, 740 Renz Lane. Alexander Pittaro, of Sen. Bill Monning’s office, as well as CHP Coastal Division Chief L.D. Maples, Assistant Chief Paul Vincent and Capt. Scott E. Parker will present Perez with the CHP Commissioner’s Medal of Distinction Award.
To be recognized at a separate ceremony is Vidal Flores, who helped Perez remove two occupants from a burning vehicle in the moments after the same accident, which took place in unincorporated Gilroy.
About 12pm Jan. 21, 2017, a head-on collision resulting in a fatality occurred on SR 152 east of San Felipe Road, according to authorities. A 2002 Mercedes and 2005 Ford pickup had collided into each other. A third vehicle, a 2012 Scion sedan, was also involved in the accident.
The driver and passenger of the Ford suffered major injuries to their lower extremities as a result of the collision, and were incapacitated, according to authorities.
Perez and Flores were passing by the scene in their respective vehicles moments after the accident, and stopped to help. The two safely removed both occupants from the Ford, police said.
Minutes after the Good Samaritans removed the occupants out and away from the vehicle, the passenger compartment of the Ford became fully engulfed in flames, according to the CHP.
“If not for the selfless acts of Jose Perez and Vidal Flores, both the driver and passenger of the Ford pickup would have perished in the flames,” reads a press release from the CHP.
Flores will also receive the Medal of Distinction at a separate ceremony, authorities said.