God was apparently looking out for Ken and Joan Williamson vacationing in San Diego from Phoenix, Arizona, over the Labor Day holiday. The elderly couple in their 90’s, were riding along Interstate 8 in Lakeside Monday enjoying the beautiful sunlight afternoon, when their car was suddenly and violently rear-ended by a speeding motorist.
The force of the impact ruptured the gas line instantly igniting their auto into a raging inferno, trapping the elderly couple inside.
However across the freeway 5-men from the faith based East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon had witnessed the accident, and immediately dashed across the freeway darting in between speeding automobiles, to the victims burning vehicle, pulling out the dazed couple before the auto was completely engulfed in flames.
Good Samaritan Jeff Lucas told CBS News 8, “It happened so fast, we just reacted immediately.”
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Adding, “There was someone needing our help, and there was no one there to help, so we are thinking ‘wow, this is going to explode soon,’ as the fire was near the gas tank.”
“We ran over there. A couple of the guys grabbed the wife, and the other two grabbed the husband who was driving,” Samaritan Harry Hemphill explained. “Even when the elderly gentleman was on the ground with his arms severely burned, he did not seem like he was in any pain. He was more concerned about his wife.”
Although the Williamson’s suffered burns from the fire, they are expected to make a full recovery, along with Barry one of the other good Samaritans, who also suffered burns after pulling out Ken Williamson, all three were hospitalized after the accident, and will be released soon.
Samaritan Andre Leggett explained to reporters the moment they reached the burning auto what transpired, “We just saw this guy, and he is stuck in his seatbelt, so we kind of snatched open the door and unbuckled the seatbelt. My buddy Barry snatched him out of the car and carried him to the side of the road.”
The 5 men, all heroes, reside in the faith based East County Transitional Living Center, a homeless center created by the Southern Baptist Association along with the city of El Cajon.
The center provides both living quarters along with spiritual guidance for hundreds of homeless men, women, and children, in need if a helping hand.
Good Samaritan Hemphill, explained that he most likely wouldn’t have helped the couple if it wasn’t for the programs within the faith based center, that has transformed his life
5 Good Samaritans from the @eastcountytlc pull a couple in their 90s from Phoenix out of their burning car on I-8 to safety on #LaborDay. The elderly couple is recovering from burns in the hospital along with 1 of the Good Samaritans who got burned on his arm. @CBS8 @LakesideFire pic.twitter.com/fDvePzB1A5— Heather HOPE (@HopeNEWS8) September 8, 2021
“There was a time when like so many of us, I would not have, we would have kept driving, but because of programs like ECTLC, we are changing, and in that change, we are not just being selfish individuals, but we look out for others,” Hemphill said.
“I’ve struggled with my own issues in my life,” lamented Samaritan Andre Leggett. “I’ve been a very self-centered person for a majority of my life, and I would just want somebody else to do that for my mom, for my father.”
Steve and Mark Williamson are grateful that the 5-Good Samaritans were there to save their elderly parents. They know that if God hadn’t placed them there, at that exact moment, both their parents would be gone.
“Everyone who saw that video knows that if those people did not pull my parents out, we would not be having this discussion right now, so I can’t thank them enough. I just want them to know that they saved two absolutely beautiful people, and we would love to have information to thank him personally,” said son Mark Williamson, who also rushed from Arizona to California after learning his parents were in the hospital.
“When a man asked Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ He told him this story:
‘There was once a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead at the roadside. By chance, a Priest and later a Levite passed by, however, they both ignored him! Then a Samaritan arrived who tended to his wounds, took him to the nearest Inn and cared for him until he recovered.’ At that point in the story, the man found the answer to his question! So Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same.'” (Luke 10:37b)