Witnesses, first responders help pinned woman in bizarre roadside mishap in Spanish Fork

Jul 12, 2023, 10:21 PM | Updated: 10:22 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah — State troopers credited witnesses and first responders for helping to save a woman’s life after her stalled car backed over her Tuesday and dragged her down a hill.

According to Utah Highway Patrol, the mishap happened after 8:30 p.m. at the stop light on the southbound off-ramp at exit 257 to state Route 6 just off Interstate 15.

UHP trooper Daren Walker said witnesses told investigators the woman got out of her car to push it and get it out of traffic when it started rolling backwards.

“She must have lost her balance and became trapped underneath the car,” Walker said. “The car then slid down an embankment as she’s pinned under the car.”

Lee Wood told KSL TV he was on his way home when he saw cars stopped and people looking down the embankment with their hands covering their mouths. He said he stopped to see how he could help.

“We saw a car,” Wood said. “It was at an angle—like a very steep angle—but we saw a lady’s legs hanging out the bottom.”

The car that the woman was trapped underneath. (Utah Highway Patrol)

There was little time to react. He said he and others jumped in to try to lift the car and rescue the woman.

“This is somebody’s mother under there,” Wood recalled thinking. “We just thought, ‘Everybody get down there and let’s lift this car, and we’ll pull her to safety,’ and that’s basically what we did.”

Wood said a Spanish Fork firefighter checked the woman’s vitals and detected a pulse. He said others covered the woman and helped her to feel comfortable until medics could get her to the hospital.

According to Walker, the woman was initially in critical condition but since was upgraded to stable condition with moderate injuries. He said the efforts of witnesses and first responders made a difference.

“Huge difference—it could have been extremely worse than what it was,” Walker said. “When people jump in, it’s not what could have happened. It’s what did happen, and they jumped right in, and they helped out, and that’s the good part.”

Wood said he had undergone first responder training in Scotland and urged people not to gawk at accident scenes when somebody is clearly in need.

“It’s not a cinema, it’s not a picture show—don’t drive by,” Wood expressed.

He said he was grateful he and others were able to help, and he was glad the woman survived.

“I think the way you respond to the situation really defines who you are as a person,” Wood said. “It doesn’t take the police or the fire brigade to save a life. It just takes someone else to help.”

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Witnesses, first responders help pinned woman in bizarre roadside mishap in Spanish Fork