Good Samaritans sprang into action following a terrifying car crash, lifting a convertible car off a trapped driver and his dog.
If Leandro Mairan ever needs a reminder of how lucky he truly is, all he has to do is walk out to his driveway.
“Just a miracle,” he said looking at the crumpled 1999 Mustang Cobra.
He says he remembers the crash well.
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He was driving along the busy construction site on I-35 near Ewing Avenue last Wednesday evening when he says another car caused him to crash.
“I remember the impact when I landed,” he said. “Slamming the wall and just going airborne.”
Making matters worse, the top was down.
“So literally my head is exposed,” he said.
His body went sliding down the interstate for several yards.
“Just feeling the entire concrete rip my face apart,” said Mairan.
But what the 24-year-old remembers most are the people who ran to his side.
“There was blood all over the highway and just seeing his hand there I didn’t know what was going on,” said Brian Sarche.
Sarche had been driving home from Austin when he saw the upside-down car sliding down the interstate.
“You could see his hand sticking out from the bottom of it. It was terrifying. There was a lump in my throat,” he said.
Mairan remembers a man named Scotty helping and praying with him.
“I told him honestly that I felt like I was about to die and I just needed him to say one last goodbye to my daughters for me and Scotty wasn’t having it,” said Mairan.
He also remembers a nurse by his side.
“She stood by me the entire time making sure my head would stay up, making sure I wouldn’t bleed out, giving me instructions on how to breathe,” he recalled.
Sarche remembers a woman “laying down on the ground with him trying to comfort him. It was pretty amazing.”
Mairan formulated a plan and spoke to the growing crowd of good Samaritans.
He said, “'I’m going to count down to three, on the count of three everybody grab any piece of the car and just lift with everything you got…' I counted one, two, three and everybody lifted. I was able to reach across, unbuckle myself, fall to the ground, turn around and Scotty grabbed both of my arms and pulled me out.”
Mairan suffered serious injuries to his face and his arms but walked away with no broken bones.
Doctors worked to save his left eye which had several pieces of glass inside.
The young father is now recovering at home with his daughters, his pregnant wife and his puppy which was inside the car at the time of the crash and was pulled to safety without a scratch.
Mairan says he has recently purchased the car and does not have insurance.
Mairan works on countertops in the construction field and was already struggling with a slowdown in work due to COVID-19.
He’s now unable to return to work because of his injuries and because he would be required to wear face protection.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account.