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Good samaritans help woman in rollover crash in The Acreage

Posted at 6:31 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 18:31:22-05

Scary moments in the acreage Wednesday morning as Maria Vilas was driving down Coconut Boulevard near 86th Road.

Vila was stopped in traffic when a car rear ended her, pushing the SUV into the path of an oncoming truck which T-boned her vehicle.

While Vila was still too injured to speak with us on camera to share her story, we spoke to the good Samaritans she says helped save her life.

“Never experienced something like that before," said Ayelin Sanchez.

If it weren't for several people like Sanchez who stopped to render aid, what happened could have ended much differently.

“I was driving to work and I just heard a huge crash. I was about three to four cars behind," she said.

Sanchez pulled over and ran to the scene, where she saw Vila was trapped and hanging upside down in the mangled vehicle with her seatbelt still fastened.

“I said is there anyone else, are there kids in the car," said Sanchez. "As a mom myself, that was my first reaction."

Witnesses say Vila had just dropped off her kids at school so there was no one else in the vehicle. Sanchez said she stayed with Vila keeping her calm and stable.

“I kept telling her she’s going to see her daughter again and that she’s going to be fine," she said.

She showed me the dramatic moments she caught on camera, showing Jordan Decker on the scene.

“That seatbelt really saved her life that day," Decker said. “I started talking to her, calmed her down. I immobilized her spine until fire rescue showed up.”

Coincidentally, Decker says he just graduated from fire academy last week.

“It was a great life experience with an ever better outcome a great outcome," he said.

Vila also credits the fire rescue crews who helped her on scene. Two men from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue -- Lt. Patrick McCloud and paramedic Jason Hugus -- even stopped by the hospital to make sure she was OK.

“It’s crazy to think in this world that there are good people out there, but there are. There are people who care," Sanchez said.

Vila is recovering at home now from internal bleeding and pain, but doctors say she miraculously didn't break any bones. She said she's thankful to be alive.

“Bless her, bless her family. I’m glad she’s OK. May we never meet in those circumstances again," Sanchez said.

Despite all of the help from the good Samaritans, those we spoke with say there were a lot of people who stopped just to watch and take pictures or video.

First responders urge people to stay clear and to allow them the space they need to work a crash such as this one.

The others involved in the crash experienced minor injuries.