Navy corpsman reflects on heroism

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- One day after a three-vehicle accident on northbound I-805, a Navy hospital corpsman talked to 10News about her actions as she came upon the scene.  A couch had fallen off a truck and into traffic.     

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Tara Mallari suspected someone was trapped inside a Ford SUV lying on its side on the freeway.  She'd been in a rollover accident herself and knew seat belts can get jammed.

"Yes, I was able to open the back window; a good thing it wasn't locked," she said. "Opened the window and passenger was still buckled up."

Worrying that a fire might break out, Mallari quickly crawled inside and freed the woman, pulling her out to safety. Then, following her Navy training, she assessed the woman's injuries.

"I touched her spine to make sure everything was good, make sure she was able to feel her limbs," she said. "Check for other bleeding and broken bones then."

Tara's wife, Char, watched with pride.

"I was just so impressed with how quick she sprang into action," Char said. "How cool, calm, and collected she was."

Tears from Mallari followed after her wife spoke. 

"It wasn't emotional at that moment and it didn't hit me till later on how I was able to save lives - get them out of a situation because anything could have happened," she said. "The vehicle could have set on fire. That was running through my head. (I'm) just glad I was able to help out."

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