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Dispatcher helps frantic mom stop runaway car

October 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local mother was terrified when the accelerator of her car got stuck when she was driving with her 4-year-old daughter. But both the woman and young girl were saved thanks to a quick thinking 911 operator.

It was just before 11 a.m. on Monday when Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station dispatcher Richard Engersbach got the frantic call from a woman whose car accelerator was stuck and couldn't stop.

She was heading east on Foothill Boulevard near Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada Flintridge, traveling around 20 to 25 mph.

"I'm coming to a red light again and there's cars in front of me, and I can't stop," she told the dispatcher.

Engersbach, who's been working as a dispatcher for five years, calmly instructed her on how to stop her Ford Escort.

He suggested she try putting the car in neutral and turning the ignition off, and that did the trick. The woman came to a stop at Oakwood Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.

The incident could have turned into a horrific accident, but with Engersbach's help, calamity was avoided.

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