Semi Driver Rescued by Guadalupe Police Chief Crashes While Alisal Fire Destroys Vehicle.
GUADALUPE, Calif. – Guadalupe’s police chief helped save the life of a semi-trailer driver on Monday as the driver fled the Alisal fire.
Michael Cash is the Guadalupe area police chief and was off duty while driving down Highway 101 toward Santa Barbara.
Cash was on the road when the Alisal Fire started heading toward the road.
“I was driving from Guadalupe to Santa Barbara to attend a meeting on Tuesday morning, “Cash said.
Cash said it was stuck on the road when it was closed by fire.
“In front of us, it was getting smoke here and smoke here, and then the fire started coming our way on both sides of the freeway, ”Cash said. “It was like a tunnel of fire.”
The smoke caused a truck to crash into the southbound lane. The truck lit up with embers and was completely engulfed.
When the fire trucks began to pass, Cash followed them.
Cash said he tried to help move cars with his hazard lights.
When Cash pulled out of stopped traffic, he saw the truck on the side of the road.
Cash found the driver bleeding and used his quick thinking and pressed the driver’s wounds.
He then took the driver of the bleeding truck to a Goleta hospital with the help of dispatchers.
“It was a combination of the right time, the right people, and the work of all the first responders,” Cash said of his heroic efforts. “All I could think about was service, you know you forget everything else and walk at the moment. ”
Cash says it was a humbling moment.
When officers from the Guadalupe Police and Fire Departments heard what Cash did to help the driver, they said they weren’t surprised.
“That’s what he is, whether you’re in uniform or not, that’s the leadership we have here. He knows all of his employees by first and last name. He is a true leader,” said Carlos Limón, a sergeant with the police from Guadeloupe.
Santa Barbara CHP followed up with the injured truck driver and found that he crashed due to heavy smoke from the fire on the roads. They say the man is doing better after suffering lacerations to his head and arm and is under the care of hospital staff.
Cash hopes to be an example as someone whose focus is being there for others in need.
“I think when you help others, someone will help you. I pray that if I was in a situation like that, someone would step in and help me,” Cash said.