Deputies, Neighbor Rescue Driver From Burning Car After Crash

The driver crashed into a block wall before the Mercedes Benz caught fire in Palmdale

A resident and three deputies rescued a driver from a burning Mercedes Benz sedan after he crashed the car into a wall Thursday morning in Palmdale.

Deputies and firefighters on a graveyard shift responded to a report about a car that crashed into a wall near 20th Street East and East Avenue R-8, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The car was partially through the wall and caught fire as smoke billowed from the hood.

"It was heroic," said Lt. Brian Dunn. "I am very proud of them."

Three deputies, Zachary Marshall, Jeremy Carlisle and Jonathan Schnereger, and a neighbor who helped in the rescue were hailed as heroes for possibly saving the driver's life. A passenger was already out of the vehicle when authorities arrived.

"We saw the car flare up, and we decided to just pull him out," said David Perez, the neighbor who joined the rescue effort.

"I was asking for help and the neighbor nearby was the big support we needed," said Deputy Zachary Marshall. 

Deputies had to break windows and drag one of the men out of the car because the doors could not be opened.

The driver was in serious, but stable condition, at a hospital, according to the sheriff's department. Details regarding the passenger's condition were not immediately available.

"We do this because we want to, because it's a calling. We don't do this for any type of attention," said Deputy Jeremy Carlisle. "It is our job, but I'm there to help my partners and the citizens of our community."

Lucy Rodriguez, the homeowner, said she was grateful for the cinder block wall, which likely prevented the car from hitting her house. 

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Kevin LaBeach contributed to this report.

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