CHULA VISTA, Calif. —The woman praised with saving a young girl’s life after a horrific crash said she went into “auto pilot” and knew she had to do anything to keep the six-year-old alive.
Two people were killed and six others injured Wednesday in a pileup involving a big rig on an East County freeway interchange.
“I saw the semi break off and come into the ramp and it didn’t look real,” said Sasha Sanchez, who was driving just behind the cars involved.
“I heard Kristina’s mom screaming, ‘My baby, my baby’s not breathing.’ And I don’t remember getting out my car. I just remember jumping over the divider to go to her and then seeing Kristina,” Sanchez said.
She found 6-year-old Kristina Andarus hurt and lying on state Route 125.
“She didn’t understand what was going on,” said Sanchez. “I felt horrible for the mother, I can’t imagine. That’s when I snapped back into it and was like you need to help.”
In just moments, Sanchez, 24, would become a hero. Her training as a nurse, her ability to stay calm and present, kicked in on the freeway.
“She was having really labored breathing. She couldn’t look at me. Her eyes were rolling. She stopped breathing and then I gave her CPR and she came back for probably two minutes and then she stopped breathing again and then I gave her CPR again.”
The big rig hit had hit a Chevy Aveo, killing a mother and daughter inside. That car then hit the Kia Sorento little Kristina was riding in.
“She could hear me, because when I told her to squeeze my fingers she did.”
Brought back to life, Sanchez watched as paramedics took Kristina away, her grateful mother never leaving her side.
“I’ve never done CPR before actually, only on dummies in nursing school,” she said.
Sanchez said she believes Kristina would not have made it without that CPR on the freeway. She’s humbled to know she helped keep a young girl alive and a family together. She plans to visit Kristina and the family as soon the little girl is strong enough.
A gofundme page has been set up to help the family. Click here for more information.