Man Saves 2 People From Burning Car on Highway 16

A driver is being called a hero after he saved two people from a burning car on Highway 16.

That driver ended up needing medical help himself.  But this isn’t the first time this man has stepped up during an emergency.

A split-second decision on Highway 16 delivered results that might have given Clark Kent a run for his money.

“He’s like, ‘call the police. We got in an accident and people are inside the car and the car is on fire. If I’m going to burn inside, I’ll be there, but I’m going to save their lives’ and he was pulling them out,” said Yelena Suyunshaliyev, the driver’s sister.

Overcome with anxiety after that phone call, Suyunshaliyev rushed to Jackson Highway and Eagles Nest Road where her brother and mother had collided with two people in a sedan.

The car burst into flames.

“The driver of the Honda that was involved over here was able to extricate himself and went over to the other vehicle to assist them getting out of the vehicle because it was on fire and ended up being fully engulfed,” said CHP Officer Daniel Mendias.

That driver was Grigoriy Lagoda. He used the same quick thinking and fast action in an emergency last month.

“He’s the best. He’s the best driver. He used to be a truck driver, a school teacher, for a year or something. He saved a girl in Idaho just recently — last month so he’s a hero,” said Suyunshaliyev.

All four people involved were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Lagoda’s mother, Nadezhda, suffered broken ribs, a broken hand, and a fractured leg.

It’s Grigoriy’s heroic act that left everyone thankful to be alive.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” said Mendias.

A witness says one vehicle ran a stop sign. CHP are still investigating the crash.


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