Man thanks CHP officers who helped save him from burning car near Adelanto

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- A man who was trapped inside a burning car met some of the first responders who helped save his life in Tustin.

On Nov. 2, north of Adelanto on Highway 395, two people were killed when they tried to pass slower traffic and rammed head on into Garcia's Volkswagen Beetle.

"There's a few times where I thought it was either take me or save me. I got saved," he said.

People passing by the wreckage shot video that Garcia's sister said is difficult to watch.

"Time is ticking. He's got to get out and I know he's burning," Linda Baldwin said.

Luckily, two California Highway Patrol officers arrived on the scene. One of them used his patrol car to push Garcia's vehicle away from the other burning car. That allowed San Bernardino County firefighters to go in and pull Garcia to safety.

"One of the policeman said, 'I'm not going anywhere. I'm not going to let you die in this.' They're my heroes," he said.

Garcia suffered severe burns and many broken bones. One thing Garcia had not been able to do is thank the first responders for saving his life. But he didn't have to wait long to do that.

On Thursday, the two CHP officers who arrived on scene surprised Garcia by showing up to wish him well at CareMeridian.

"I was just doing my job. Whatever it took to get him to safety," Officer Sergio Mendez said.

Officer Aaron Warnke said Garcia's recovery is amazing and he's glad to see him doing well.

"They put themselves in harm's way and I appreciate law enforcement, firefighters. Not just these guys, but all the time and even more so now," Baldwin said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Garcia's recovery, you may donate at
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