When a woman's car flipped over, she was terrified to discover that she and her children were trapped inside, and there was no one else in sight. Suddenly, the most unexpected thing popped up from the side of the overpass.
Jessica Magdaleno said she felt scared and alone after the crash on March 26, KPIX 5 reports. There were a total of six passengers in the car, including Magdaleno and her three young children, who were dangling upside down from their car seats following the accident.
Suddenly, something appeared over the side of the overpass: a man who had reportedly scaled the side of the highway to save them after hearing the loud crash.
"Nobody was there, and when I turned, he was there!" Magdaleno told KPIX 5. "I said, 'Oh! Can you please get my babies?'"
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California man Greg Pena is being hailed as a hero after he pulled himself over the highway wall and saved the family. Magdaleno said she never expected the kind of help she received from Pena, whom she described as an angel.
Pena was preparing to teach a class at the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet Club, which is right near a retaining wall for Highway 17. Suddenly, he heard a loud crash and saw smoke. He realized that a Ford Expedition had flipped over.
Without thinking, Pena scaled the 25-foot wall, using the adjacent fence to climb part of it. Within seconds, Pena managed to climb the wall and get onto the freeway. Pena gave first aid to one teenager with a bleeding head, then freed the young children who were dangling upside down in their seats.
Magdaleno, a devout Catholic, said she prayed for Pena the following Sunday. A firefighter who arrived at the scene of the crime was so impressed by Pena’s actions that he nominated Pena for a citizen’s medal of valor award in Santa Clara County.
"I know he wouldn’t call himself that, but ... I think what he did was heroic," Scott Graham, the firefighter, said.
When asked if he would help Magdaleno and her children again, Pena replied yes. He added that he doesn’t like to be called a hero, and he believes that anyone would have done what he did.