Santa Clarita resident Clayton Breaux heard the screams of a woman coming from a forested area in Newhall shortly after a violent crash off Interstate 5 Monday morning. But there was no one to be found from his vantage point.
“It was a pretty intense crash. I had stopped on the freeway on the right shoulder along the hill, but I couldn’t find the car anywhere — and then I heard a girl screaming,” Breaux said.
He had been driving in the right lanes of northbound Interstate 5 when he noticed a white sports car swerve across all lanes from the left shoulder and then launch off a hill and down an embankment.
Just before 11 a.m., the vehicle left the freeway near Weldon Canyon Road and rolled over a couple of times, landing approximately 30 feet down an embankment and onto an area dense with trees and dry brush near The Old Road, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel.
Upon hearing the screams, Breaux returned to his car and called 911. He then drove down to The Old Road and found the driver, a man, who waved him down. He said the man “didn’t look too good” and found the woman, who he assumed was the driver’s girlfriend, stuck under a tree.
The Santa Clarita man said he had some medical background upon training for a firefighter, but because he was not a certified medic, “I knew that you’re not supposed to touch anyone, so I just told him to sit down and relax — try not to move.”
By this point, Breaux could hear sirens as he already had called first responders. He directed them to the location of the crash scene, which was not very visible from the freeway.
“I saw her under that tree pretty good, and I said, ‘I can’t move this tree. The Fire Department’s on their way. You gotta stay as calm as you can,’” he recalled.
The two patients, who were later identified as Eugene, Oregon, residents, were transported to the hospital. The driver suffered minor injuries and the woman had major injuries, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Greengard, who said, after a crash like that, the two were lucky to have survived. He added that Breaux’s calls to 911 played a vital role in saving their lives.
“In that location, other motorists would have not seen that vehicle after it had gone down the embankment,” said Greengard. “So, it’s very imperative — if you see something like this, to make sure you call 911 immediately — it is definitely an emergency.”
The crash remains under investigation, but Breaux said he had witnessed the vehicle speeding prior to the collision.