Fire Department Honors Rescuers of Crash Victim

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Orange County Fire Department on Tuesday awarded four young men Certificates of Valor, the county's highest honor, for rescuing a brother and sister whose car had overturned and caught fire.

"There is no doubt that by their quick thinking and heroic actions they saved the victims from serious burns, if not death," Orange County Fire Capt. Dan Young said in a prepared statement.

David Hill, Scott Hill, Michael Plascencia and Scott Eidsmoe were presented their Certificates of Valor at a City Council meeting by Battalion Chief Dave Wilson.

"I'm glad to be honored. I'm sure other people would have done the same," Scott Hill said after the ceremony. "I'm just glad that I was there to help."

Their heroics occurred in the aftermath of a May 23 traffic accident in which a Volkswagen Rabbit convertible traveling south on Culver Drive in Irvine just north of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad tracks hit a tree and overturned.

David Hill and his brother Scott were working on their cars with their friend, Plascencia, in a garage about 300 feet away. They heard the accident and went to help.

David Hill ran inside his house to call 911 while Scott and Plascencia went to the aid of the two people trapped in the car.

At the same time, Eidsmoe, who was driving by, got out of his car to help the victims.

"I was kind of afraid to look inside and see (the victims). . . . It was a pretty serious accident. They took out a tree," Scott Hill said.

"The three of them pulled out the 25-year-old male driver," Young said in his prepared statement.

David Hill, who had returned after calling for paramedics, "helped the other three pull out the second victim who was trapped in the burning car by a roll bar across her abdomen that pinned her to the ground," Young said.

With additional help from several bystanders, they rolled the car enough to free the second victim and pull her to safety.

When firefighters arrived, the Rabbit's engine and interior were engulfed in flames.

The driver, Y-Joon Park, 25, of Irvine and his sister, Eunyung (Terry) Park, 15, escaped the accident with only minor injuries.

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