Woman trapped in car for more than an hour in Christmas Day crash

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SAN DIEGO -- First responders spent more than an hour Christmas Day rescuing a passenger trapped in a car that was wrapped around a tree in North County.

San Diego police said just before 2:00 p.m. a 27-year-old man and 26-year-old woman were traveling east on Scripps Poway Parkway, near Sunshine Peak Court, when the driver lost control of the car. According to officers, the gray Infinity slid sideways, into the center media and then struck a tree.

“Firefighters arrived quickly to find two patients still in the vehicle. One was extracted relatively quickly. The other one was a very very difficult extraction,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief John Fisher said.

Firefighters said the driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries as they worked tirelessly to save the passenger's life.

“This is one of the longest extractions I’ve been on in quite some while. You can see from the footage that the car was literally wrapped around the tree there and hit the tree hard enough to actually uproot the tree,” Fisher said.

Rescuers said the tree, car's position and the passenger's position made things more challenging.

“She ended up basically in the backseat, but with her feet trapped underneath and around the gear shift and the dashboard in the front seat,” Fisher said.

Fisher said after about an hour and 15 minutes she was freed. SDPD said she was flown to a trauma center with life-threatening injuries.

“She’s definitely talking to us, but she is in fairly critical condition. So the good folks at Scripps Hospital will take care of her,” Fisher said.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to SDPD. The cause is still under investigation.

Anyone with information on the crash was asked the SDPD at (619) 531-2000 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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