Exclusive: Meet good Samaritan who helped woman after crash into Clear Creek

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DENVER -- The good Samaritan who stopped to help an elderly woman who accidentally drove off a mountain road came forward Wednesday to talk about the ordeal.

Anthony Padilla was driving from Black Hawk to Golden Tuesday morning when he saw the woman drive off the road on Highway 6 in Clear Creek Canyon.

Padilla told Fox 31 Denver’s Deborah Takahara in an exclusive interview, “I just saw her hit the rail, then I saw a cloud of dust. I saw it twist like a helicopter going down. I slammed on my brakes, turned my car around, ran as fast as I could down there.”

The car flipped once, landing about 85 feet down and embankment, perched on some rocks in the creek.

Padilla said, “I didn’t think twice about it. My first thought was just to make sure she was ok. I was glad she was talking. I was afraid she was dead or something or severed. It was a big fall.”

He went on to describe her injuries, “she had glass shards in her hands, in her face. And her hands were bleeding. When I got down there I saw blood and I didn’t know where it came from.”

Padilla tried to pry open the driver side door, but it was stuck. So he decided to wait for emergency crews to get there. He said, “I was talking to her, just trying to keep her from going into shock, keep her mind off what was going on. Just keep her conscious. With that kind of hit, I didn’t know what was going to happen to her, just trying to keep her focused.”

Once rescuers got on scene, Padilla went on about his day. His training in law enforcement helped him stay calm.

Padilla said, “Once upon a time, I was a sheriff deputy in Los Angeles, explorer in high school. I do have some training. It’s been a long time, but it came back to me real quick. I would’ve done it 100 times out of a hundred, just the way I was raised. I’d help anyone that needed it. I’d like to think most people would.”

The driver of the car, 87 year old Erma Sandau, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. She is expected to be okay.

She was given a ticket for careless driving, after telling investigators she was swatting at a bug which caused her to lose control of her car.

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