Officer rescues occupants trapped in overturned vehicle


A Fullerton police officer extricated two people who were trapped after a sports utility vehicle collided with another car near the intersection of Santa Fe and Lemon Street last weekend.

Cpl. John Ema was a block away on Santa Fe at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when he heard the loud clanking of metal.

When he arrived Ema saw an Infiniti G35, but couldn’t find the other. As he drove down Lemon, he found the second vehicle upside down near the train underpass and in the opposite direction of traffic.

Witnesses say the Kia Sportage rolled three times.

“The two occupants were just panicked and banging on the windows trying to get out of there,” he said.

Ema said with the help of a witness, he first tried to open the car doors but they wouldn’t budge.

“I took my baton and broke the passenger side back window out,” he said.

But with the back seat crushed, they couldn’t crawl out.

Ema said he and three witnesses began working harder to pull open the car door. It was a team effort, he said, but they didn’t have a lot of time.

“You never know if anything is going to catch on fire,” he said. “It was a pretty intense for a few moments. “

The female driver and her male cousin were taken to local hospitals for treatment of what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses said the Kia Sportage SUV was heading southbound on Lemon Street when the driver of the Infiniti attempted to turn left from eastbound lanes of Santa Fe.

The driver of the Infiniti was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

About the woman and her cousin, Ema said, “Overall they were really, really lucky.”