SAN PABLO, Calif. - An investigation is underway as to what caused a fiery crash on Interstate 80 in San Pablo. Two people were killed but not before Good Samaritans tried to rescue them from a burning car.
Frantic moments, caught on cell phone video, on Interstate 80 near the San Pablo Dam Road overcrossing Friday night. In the video, a man is seen using a bar to pry the doors of a Kia sedan open. The car crashed into a concrete wall. The hood near the passenger side of the car caught on fire.
Bystanders were seen shaking the car doing what they can to rescue the people trapped inside.
“We tried to open the door, we tried to force it, we bent the door,” said Elvis Ricafort of Fairfield.
Ricafort is among those who jumped in to help as his wife, Sue, recorded the chaos. Ricafort did not think twice.
“We are all brothers and sisters,” he said. “We need to help each other no matter what.”
A masonry crew using a saw as the fire raged on. Good Samaritans are able to pull the driver out. He later died at Highland Hospital. HIs passenger did not survive.
“He was an awesome dad, an awesome son, an awesome uncle,” said Donna Johnson of Fairfield.
A heartbroken mother identified the driver as her 37-year-old son Geary Terry, Jr. The passenger identified as 70-year-old father Geary Terry Sr. who leaves behind nine children.
“My family and my grandson want to say thank you, thank you, thank you,” Johnson said. “We would like to reach out to you guys.”
For the first time on Sunday, the Johnson family met one of the good Samaritans via video conferencing and they showed their appreciation and gratitude.
“We want to thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts,” said Johnson. “That was my only son, I want to thank you.”
“I also want to say want to say we gained a family within you guys, yes thank you all,” said Nakia Terry of Sacramento.
Through times of tragedy and trauma, the best in humanity can come out of it.
“I consider y'all his first responders and our heroes,” said Ninavonn Terry of Vallejo. “You guys are his heroes.”
The family is in the process of arranging funeral services. They are inviting all the good Samaritans, hoping to thank them in person.
A fundraising page has been set up to pay for funeral expenses.