ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A woman may have a Hudson firefighter to thank for saving her life after he pulled her out of a burning car Wednesday night.
According to Chris Smith, he was called out to a vehicle fire after 9 p.m. on Old Bonner Road. Smith said a woman named Elizabeth Ruiz had apparently lost control of her car and hit a tree before rolling the car over.
When Smith arrived, the car was on fire and had spread to the passenger side of the car. He said EMS responders were not sure if anyone was in the car, so he used his flashlight to see through the smoke inside the car.
Smith said he saw a woman hanging upside down by her seatbelt and unconscious. He said he then crawled in through the back window, cut her seatbelt and dragged her out of the car through the back window.
Ruiz was transported to a Lufkin hospital, where she is listed in stable condition.
Margaret Thomas, who lives in a home near where the wreck occurred, called 911 to report it. She said if the woman stayed in the car just a couple minutes longer, she may not have survived.
Still in disbelief, at the scene, Thomas found an earring, and car parts.
"It was scary and I am so thankful that the girl is still alive," Thomas said.
Jessie Gonzalez, Ruiz's boyfriend, is thankful too.
"I got the call that she was in the emergency room," Gonzalez said. "So, yeah, I was pretty scared."
When Gonzalez heard how his girlfriend's life was saved, he couldn't describe their gratitude.
"To say thank you or God bless you, that's not enough," Gonzalez said.
Smith says he was just doing his job.
"I hope she recovers and continues to lead a happy, full life," Smith said. "I'm thankful that I was able to play a small part in that."