READING, Pa. - Three people are lucky to be alive after a guardrail impaled a vehicle during a violent wreck on a busy highway.
The driver was listed in fair condition at Reading Hospital on Tuesday. Family members said she suffered multiple broken bones.
A good Samaritan jumped into action moments after the scary crash, which was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Monday on the Warren Street Bypass, near the Spring Valley Road interchange, in Muhlenberg Township.
"The kid said help. She's stuck in the seat, so I get out," said Joaquin Martinez, who spoke exclusively with 69 News.
The Reading man was in the right place at the right time. He was on his way to work when he saw a man waving him down, and then he saw the car with a guardrail all the way through it on the grassy median.
"The smoke was coming into the car, and I was just trying to get the girl out. That is all I was worried about," said Martinez. "I told her to stay calm because she was crying when she started seeing the smoke that was coming from the front of the car."
Both the driver and passenger were trapped inside.
According to police, the gold Ford Focus was sideswiped by another car and sent into the guardrail. It shattered the windshield and passed through the entire vehicle with three people inside.
Family members told 69 News the driver, Linda Delp, was on her way to the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing with her granddaughter in the passenger seat and her granddaughter's boyfriend in the back.
"The guardrail missed them by probably an inch-and-a-half to an inch or so," said Martinez. "I thought the driver was decapitated."
Martinez said the man in the backseat was untouched, but he ran to get a knife to cut out the driver's granddaughter while another passerby grabbed a fire extinguisher.
"When I was cutting the girl's seat belt, I heard the lady moaning," said Martinez.
When rescue crews arrived, they had to peel back the roof and cut the guardrail to free Delp. She was transported to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
First responders said it's a miracle everyone survived.
"I've never been in that situation," said Martinez. "I have a kid myself, so I would like somebody in that situation to do the same."
Delp's granddaughter was also taken to the hospital. Family members said she was back home Tuesday after undergoing surgery on her hand.
The driver of the car who caused the accident will be cited for traffic violations, said police, who noted that he is also in the country illegally, and his immigration status has been reported to federal authorities.
Allentown, PA 18102