About a dozen bystanders rushed to the aid of a family trapped in a Chevy Blazer last Thursday seconds after their vehicle slid about 30 feet on the passenger side and came to a stop on the westbound lane of 10th Street in front of the former soccer retail store.
Gilroy Police, Gilroy Fire, ambulances and Calstar were all called to the scene of the crash shortly before 1 p.m. at the busy intersection of Monterey and 10th streets in Gilroy. According to a witness, the Blazer was traveling west on 10th Street through the intersection of Monterey Street when it was struck by a gray sedan, which was headed north on Monterey Street. The witness did not know who had the right of way at the time of the collision.
Felix Urbina, of Gilroy, a former Red Cross worker in his native Honduras who had a blood stain on his shoe, was among “eight to 10” bystanders who lifted the Blazer from its side so that two trapped passengers could exit the vehicle via the passenger side window.
Urbina, who had stopped for a beverage by the AmeriGas station on the corner, said the driver of the Blazer, whom he thought was the husband, was bleeding from his head when he escaped the smashed SUV. A female passenger, who had no visible injuries, was holding her “almost 1-year-old baby” and screaming, “My baby, my baby, my baby.” He said the baby had a gash on its leg.
Gilroy Fire Chief Alan Anderson at the scene told the Dispatch that there were three adults and one pediatric being treated, and three were in critical condition. Everyone except the baby have since been released from the hospital according to GPD Sgt.
At this time there are no additional updates or information as the investigation is ongoing, according to GPD Cpl. Justin Matsuhara, an investigator with GPD’s Major Accident Investigation Team.
“This can be a high-speed intersection,” said Anderson, who said he was grateful when he heard that bystanders helped the trapped victims. “It’s nice when people come and help. That’s what community is about. People helping people.”
Urbina – who also dialed 911 to alert police of the accident – was one of those people who saw the collision shortly before 1 p.m. last Thursday. Urbina was inside the gas station speaking with the cashier when the female driver of the gray sedan ordered a U-Haul truck. He said the woman turned right out of the station, southbound on Monterey, made a U-turn to northbound Monterey and collided with the Blazer at the intersection.
“I was in the Red Cross … You have to help, so we moved the car,” said Urbina, who said those not trapped exited the Blazer from the rear window.
Paramedics worked on the injured victims from the Blazer on the curbside in front of the former soccer retail store. Blood stains could be seen on the roadway along with debris from the vehicle.
A Calstar helicopter was called to the scene and, after circling the area to assess the best route to the ground, landed in the open field adjacent to the 7-Eleven convenience store.
Anderson called it a “hot load,” meaning the helicopter keeps running while the flight crew exits and treats the victim. After consulting with the paramedics on the scene, the Calstar EMTs transported one victim to a hospital in San Jose.