The death of two good Samaritans who died trying to help at the scene of a Valley Village car crash drew mourners and witnesses to join first responders at a grief counseling event Saturday.
At Fire Station 60, dozens of teary-eyed residents turned out for a session with the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Mental Health Emergency Response Team and the mayor's Crisis Response Team.
Officials took the unusual step because such a large crowd witnessed the dramatic Wednesday evening car crash that left two women dead and sent a neighborhood into panic.
"The public saw stuff that they don’t normally see," said fire Capt. Jeff Brown. "We’re trying to help them through the process of recovery and healing."
The event began with a moment of silence for Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank, and Stacey Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village.
The two women were electrocuted on Wednesday when they rushed to help a 19-year-old motorist who lost control of his SUV, crashed into a light pole, and sheared a fire hydrant before stopping on the front lawn of a home.
Zamora's husband, who watched his wife die and had to be held back from going to her body, was at the Saturday event.
"I feel like everybody's giving back for what she gave out to everybody," said Andre Woloszyn, pictured below. "She's a hero to a lot of people. She's a hero to me. Because of a split-second difference, she saved my life too."
Fire Department Battalion Chief Peter Benesch honored Zamora and Schreiber as well.
"Had it not been for those two women sacrificing their lives, there could have been more individuals who could have made the same attempt ... including our folks," Benesch said.
Fire Capt. Jeff Brown, the first responding officer on the scene, said his crew would never forget the events of that night, despite seeing many dramatic scenes every year.
Startled by the Wednesday night crash, neighbors and passing motorists ran to help.Zamora and Schreiber stepped into electrified water as commotion from a crowd grew and water gushed from the hydrant, fire officials said.
Firefighters used rubber gloves and a pike pole to remove the victims from the water and rushed them to the hospital where the women died.
Eight others, ranging from 19 to 57-years-old, were injured when they stepped into electrified pools of water, officials said. The driver was the only who did not suffer injuries from being shocked.
Police identified the driver of the SUV as Arman Samsonian, 19, of Glendale.