Teens rescue man in car crash: Driver injured after being thrown from vehicle

Crash on I-805 near Telegraph Canyon Rd

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Two teenagers are being credited Tuesday for helping save a man's life after a rollover crash on Interstate 805 at the Telegraph Canyon Road exit in Chula Vista.

The crash happened at 11 p.m. on the offramp, according to authorities.

Authorities said the man, who was driving a pickup truck, lost control and was thrown out of the vehicle.

"The guy was just bleeding profusely from his ears and his mouth," Aljael Ramirez said.

Ramirez, 18, and his 19-year-old friend Giovanni Lucatero acted fast, but then there was another surprise.

"[I] started CPR [with] my buddy here ... I didn't even know it was him until we were halfway done with the CPR," Ramirez said.  

Ramirez and Lucatero saw the crash separately and pulled over to help. A twist of fate brought the Otay Ranch High School friends together, working side-by-side to save the life of a man they did not know.

"I ran up to the scene. I saw the blood," said Lucatero. "I yelled, 'Is anyone certified?' He said, 'Yes, I am ...' I didn't know it was [Ramirez]."

Lucatero is a lifeguard, and Ramirez is in training to be a firefighter and currently an explorer with the La Mesa Fire Department and a cadet with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

"The training that both departments give is outstanding," Ramirez said.

Lucatero added that the whole experience was "surreal," and when he spoke to 10News hours after the rescue, he said it felt like it didn't even happen.

What is even more amazing is where Ramirez was coming from when he stumbled upon the crash.

"I was actually studying at my friend's house. I have class today, so I had all my stuff with me, blood pressure cuff and so forth," Ramirez said.

The young men received praise from veteran firefighters.

"This guy's got a future. He'll get there," said fire engineer Dan Lachenbruch, who is the director of the La Mesa Fire Department Explorers program.

Ramirez has already interviewed with a couple different fire departments for a job. Lucatero will be joining the coast guard and starts basic training in New Jersey in October.  

The crash is still under investigation.

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