SODA SPRINGS (CBS13) — A 14-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl were left with severe burn injuries after they crashed a Maserati near Donner Pass late Thursday night.
California Highway Patrol says, a little before 11:30 p.m., the pair were in a 2017 Maserati heading eastbound on Interstate 80. The boy, a Truckee resident, was driving the vehicle while the girl, an Olympic Valley resident, was in the passenger seat.
Investigators say the girl took her dad’s Maserati without him knowing and picked up the boy who then got behind the wheel.
“He did not know that his daughter had taken that car and that car was burnt to the ground,” said Truckee CHP officer Seth Jennings.
While speeding at over 100 mph, the boy lost control of the vehicle west of Donner Pass Road and crashed into a guardrail, say police. The impact sent the guardrail through the right front passenger door and the Maserati quickly caught fire.
Officers say the boy suffered severe burns but got out of the wreck on his own. The 15-year-old girl also managed to get out but collapsed in front of the burning car.
That’s when off-duty officer Matt Cydzik from the Redwood City Police Department happened to pass by and immediately went to help. The officer was able to drag the girl to safety as the car became engulfed in flames.
“He grabbed her and pulled her to the shoulder away from the flames,” Officer Jennings said.
CBS13 spoke to officer Cydzik, who says he was at the right place at the right time.
“I don’t consider myself a hero like I was saying before. I feel like anyone of us who wears a uniform and goes to work every day would have done the exact same thing,” he said.
Officer Jennings, who is also a father, says he was the one who told the girl’s dad what happened.
“Your job never ends as a parent. When you see this it’s hard to distance yourself from the job and being a parent,” he said.
He can’t believe the teens survived the crash and says the off-duty officer’s actions made a difference.
“It’s a miracle that they weren’t killed instantly,” he said.
Medics from the Truckee Fire Department soon got to the scene and the teens were airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center. The teens’ current condition was not stated.
CHP says neither drugs nor alcohol appear to have been factors in the crash.