Crash victim’s prayer answered

But identity of only 1 of 3 Samaritans who aided Arroyo Grande chaplain in wreck has come to light

nwilson@thetribunenews.comApril 29, 2011 

A 71-year-old Arroyo Grande man said he’s thankful to be alive and grateful to three good Samaritans — one of whom spoke with the Tribune this week — for rescuing him after a terrifying car crash last month in Atascadero.

Jared Sharon’s accident occurred on a rainy March 24 afternoon near the Santa Barbara Road exit from Highway 101 in Atascadero after he swerved to avoid a car.

Sharon lost control of his 2005 Saturn, slammed into a freeway divider and veered sideways off the highway.

He smashed through a fence, slammed into two trees, and flipped three times down an embankment, landing upside down out of view of the traffic. No other cars were damaged in the wreck.

“As all this was happening, the thought occurred to me that I might die,” Sharon said.

Sharon was on his way to his work as the Jewish chaplain of the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison.

He had been commuting 300 miles round trip to the prison in Corcoran, where he typically spent two days during the week.

After coming to a halt upside down, Sharon remained conscious and was able to turn off his ignition, but he was stuck.

He prayed, hoping someone would find him there, and within moments, three people arrived, he recalled.

“I never met them or got their full names, but I’d just like to express my appreciation because they saved my life,” Sharon said.

Sharon remembers one of the men as “Sgt. Law,” who he believes is a U.S. Army soldier. And he thinks the others, a man and woman, also might be soldiers.

This week, the Tribune spoke with Sgt. Hoyt Law, a federal technician employed at Camp San Luis Obispo and a National Guardsman, who confirmed he was one of the three drivers to stop.

But Law said he didn’t find out who the other two were, though he learned the other man had a military background and the woman was a civilian nurse.

“I was in the slow lane and (Sharon) was in the fast lane and he skidded out in front of me,” Law said.

Law said he immediately stopped to help, and the other man and he pried the door open to get Sharon out of the smashed car.

“He was basically turned on his head when we saw him, and he was bleeding pretty badly,” Law said.

The nurse applied pressure to Sharon’s head wound until an ambulance arrived, which Sharon estimated took about 10 or 15 minutes.

Sharon said he came away with 10 stitches in his head and pain throughout his body, but he had no broken bones or serious injuries.

“I’m glad we were there to help,” Law said. “I’d hope someone would do the same for me.”

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