Bystanders rush in to help after crash kills 4 in Manteca

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The 2011 Toyota Sienna burst into flames as Aceves’ and several other people, some even in their prom attire, rushed to help seven people who were trapped.

MANTECA, Calif. — Good Samaritans intervened after a car left the roadway along Highway 120 in Manteca and killed four people, ensuring the death toll wasn’t higher. 

Candles and flowers are at the site where the minivan came to a rest Saturday night.

“I did what I could,” said Christian Aceves, one of the Good Samaritans. “I wish I could have done more.”

Siblings Christian and Monica Aceves live near the crash site. They say they heard and felt the crash as it shook their house.

“It is reminiscent of an earthquake, that is just that jolt, that rumble,” said Christian Aceves.

He and his sister quickly sprang into action.

“My brother pulled out the two young females that were in there,” said Monica Aceves.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna burst into flames as Aceves’ and several other people, some even in their prom attire, rushed to help seven people who were trapped in the minivan and flipping it back onto its wheels.

“Probably 15 to 20 people trying to push it up,” said Gina Rosamond, another Good Samaritan.

Gina and Joseph Rosamond were on their way home from visiting relatives.

“I grabbed the baby, moved away to a safe distance at the time,” said Joseph Rosamond.

“He had already started chest compressions on the baby, but did not have a pulse,” said Gina Rosamond.

Together, Good Samaritans were able to pull four minors from the vehicle, including an infant and three children ranging from six to 14 years old.

“I see there was an arm still in a window, so another gentleman and I tried to grab that arm, but the fire had gotten too strong at that point,” said Joseph Rosamond.

The California Highway Patrol says a 2011 Toyota Sienna was heading west along Highway 120 around 60 to 65 miles per hour when the driver lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons. The Sienna hit the center median, went into the dirt and grass median separating eastbound and westbound Highway 120 and continued going until it went into the air, traversed the Van Ryn Avenue undercrossing, hit the overpass, overturned, and caught fire.

“Definitely a chaotic, traumatic scene for the civilians,” said CHP Sgt. Andra Stockwell.

CHP says the minivan was going around 60 to 65 miles per hour.

“Some of the occupants in the van were not restrained at the time,” said Sgt. Stockwell. “When you get in a car, you got to buckle up and wear that seatbelt.”

Through the tragedy, strangers came together and showed the best of humanity.

“A lot of selfless acts that happened last night,” said Monica Aceves. “If it was not for one, maybe another one would not be able to happen.”

“Seeing all those people assisting before emergency personnel even got there, restored my faith in humanity,” added Gina Rosamond.

Two adults and two minors in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene, including the driver and an infant.

It is not clear if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

San Juan Road vehicle crash involved 9 children in Sacramento

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.