Deputy Steve Gusman of the North Coastal Sheriff Station saved a woman from a burning car on Oct. 23 at around 1:20 a.m. on the 3300 block of Manchester Ave.
Gusman was driving northbound when he observed what he initially thought was a cloud of fog rolling in from the ocean, but also smelled smoke. He turned his vehicle around in an effort to further investigate, then stopped his vehicle and walked toward the marsh on the south side of the road.
When Gusman looked down, he observed a dark colored Honda Civic that had recently left the roadway, and there was smoke and a red glow coming from underneath the vehicle. He could not see the occupant of the vehicle because the interior was filled with smoke, but then he heard a female voice coming from inside.
The driver and sole occupant appeared to be in shock and Gusman quickly opened the door, reached in and removed the woman from the smoking vehicle, placing her over his shoulder and carrying her up the embankment to safety. Just moments later, the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.
If not for the actions of Gusman, the occupant would have been severely injured or perished. There were no reported injuries, but Gusman was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation.
Meanwhile, the 54-year-old female driver was evaluated and determined to be under the influence of alcohol. She was later transported to the Vista Detention Facility, where she was booked into jail.
— Submitted press release