STOCKTON (CBS13) — A local mother was brought to tears after meeting one of the young men who helped save her son’s life from a fiery crash.
“What would’ve happened if you guys weren’t there and didn’t drag him farther away from that car?” Tasha San Nicolas said. “I wouldn’t have him, that’s all I kept thinking is I wouldn’t have a son and I’m going to be planning a funeral right now.”
The crash happened on MLK and Turnpike in South Stockton, it’s usually a busy intersection, but this happened on a Sunday at 4 a.m. Hardly anyone is usually around.
“You guys are heroes, you guys saved him. There’s no words to say how grateful I am,” she said.
Three days after the crash, Tasha found one of her son Roman’s heroes, Matt Gallegos.
“It just kicked in, I grabbed my phone, I dialed 911, and started walking towards the accident,” Gallegos said.
He took his break from the Dollar General, which is just up the street when he heard the crash.
“It was engulfed in flames, literally the whole car was engulfed in flames,” he said.
Gallegos and two others, who we now know are brothers Arturo and Leo Marquez, pulled the Roman from a burning car before it began to explode.
“If I took my lunch break a minute earlier I might not have been there,” Gallegos said.
Sadly, this very intersection brings back heartbreaking memories. It’s where he lost his mother.
“About a year and a half ago my mother was hit crossing the street one foggy morning,” Gallegos said.
He wishes someone could’ve saved her.
“I just didn’t want that to happen to somebody when I was in the moment I could’ve done something about it,” Gallegos said.
Tasha says he had a guardian angel on his side.
“Your mom is looking down on you because you saved him and she’s very proud of you because you did something nobody else would do,” she said.
Tasha says her son Roman is recovering, still badly burned with a few broken bones. But, he’s alive thanks to three people who risked their own lives.
“He feels like he’s not a hero, but you are, you are my hero,” Tasha said.
It has been an emotional few days for this family who has received more bad news. Roman was fired because he never showed up to work, that very job he was on his way to before this horrific crash.
His mother says her son worked full-time at as a forklift driver at Tesla in Lathrop. She said the temp agency Randstad let him go. Bad news aside, the family is focusing on saying thank you and healing his wounds for now.