Three civilians and two sheriff’s deputies were honored as heroes at the San Carlos City Council on Monday for their life-saving actions when a vehicle carrying three people crashed into a tree in March.
At about 2:13 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, Lance Scheetz was in the vicinity of 2708 San Carlos Ave. when he observed a vehicle after it had collided into a tree and caught fire. He sprang into action, calling 911 and surveying the condition of the occupants in the vehicle, two of whom were unconscious, authorities said. Realizing he needed help, Scheetz flagged down passing motorists Stephon Flowers and Samantha Vandyke to help him in removing the conscious occupant from the car, and also physically removing the remaining two unconsious occupants from the vehicle. At the time, the entire front of the vehicle was reportedly engulfed in flames.
Deputies Joseph Venikov and Daniel Johnson then responded to further assist occupants who had suffered significant injuries. They immediately relocated the two injured parties from the immediate area of the burning vehicle.
Reading from a city proclamation Monday, San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell noted that “catastrophe was avoided because of the selfless and rapid response” of the citizens and deputies.
“This courageous action in averting what could have been a tragic loss to family, friends and community, was an act of heroism which deserves special recognition by the City Council of San Carlos,” the mayor said.
Lifesaving Awards were presented to Scheetz, Flowers and Vandyke. Deputies Joseph Venikov and Daniel Johnson received Sheriff’s Commendations for their actions.
“A lifesaving medal is awarded to any community member who performs an exceptional act under emergency conditions where a service is rendered that results directly in sustaining a human life,” said San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, “These three did just that with their extrication on March 12.”
After the incident, the Sheriff’s Office reported that the driver of the vehicle was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, as when deputies pulled him away from the moving vehicle they smelled “the odor of an alcoholic beverage.”
Image courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office