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Passerby Helps Save Teen from Explosive Longmeadow Crash


LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) — A 16-year-old girl defies the odds as she narrowly escapes a massive car explosion.

The teen was driving in Longmeadow last night when she lost control on ice and slammed into a telephone pole, causing live wires to fall on her car.

That 16-year-old girl is is miracuously doing just fine tonight, in large thanks to Sarah McCarthy. She was passing by after staying late at work late Thursday and in an act of fate, likely saved the young girl’s life.

McCarthy and her 16-year-old daughter saw the oncoming minivan lose control, cross Shaker Road and slam into the telephone pole.

Live wires then fell onto the car.

Stunned, the 16-year-old girl got out of her car, and for just a moment, stood within feet of 13,000 volt power lines.

That’s when McCarthy realized the driver was one of her daughter’s friends.

“I called over to her come here now in the best motherly tone I could. She got into the back of my car. I threw it in reverse and just as that happened, there was an explosion,” McCarthy recalls.

The car was engulfed in flames when help arrived just moments later

“In my career, I have not seen something of this magnitude where somebody survived. She is a very fortunate young lady,” says Longmeadow Police Capt. John Stankiewicz.

Stankiewicz says nine times out of ten, it’s safer to stay in your car if wires fall on it because the car is grounded.

“It’s the lesser of two evils. You have to pick your poison. In this situation, she chose the right course of action,” Stankiewicz adds.

This case was the exception. Because the teenager immediately got out of the car, McCarthy carefully instructed the girl to run from the car without getting electrocuted.

“I knew that timing was everything and if we didn’t immediately get her out of that area that something bad was going to happen,” explains McCarthy.

It did, but the girl walked away unhurt.

McCarthy believes fate put her and her daughter in the right place at the perfect time to help her friend.

That’s the greatest message-if you have the opportunity to help someone, that you stop and help them.

Crews from Western Mass. Electric are still on-scene making repairs.

McCarthy says the ordeal taught the teenage girls a serious lesson about staying calm under pressure.

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