Fire crews save North Phoenix woman from brink of death

PHOENIX - Police say a north Phoenix woman remains hospitalized Thursday after her car was cut in half after a crash with a city bus.

They say something happened to the vehicle she was driving and it hit the Valley Metro Bus about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Peoria Avenue and Cave Creek Road.

Her vehicle was cut in half in the collision and part of it struck another car.

Police say two people on the bus suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Phoenix fire captain P.J. Dean and his crew were first to arrive and had been told it was likely a fatal crash.

Captain Dean says it was a call you only respond to a handful of times in your career.

"I’ve been doing this 20 years, and it was one of the more interesting accidents I’ve ever seen."

He says when the woman's Thunderbird hit the bus, it ripped in half at the front floorboards with the woman still belted in.

She had no pulse and wasn’t breathing, Captain Dean says and she had the lowest survival rate possible.

"We weren't sure at first. If anyone thought she was dead, I certainly wouldn't blame them, it had a horrible appearance," Dean said.

A blip on the heart monitor changed everything.

Paramedics loaded the woman into an ambulance, giving her CPR and pumping her with fluids until she regained a pulse and was clearly alive.

Captain Dean says it’s the kind of outcome that reaffirms the reason he does his job.

"It gives you the hope for every call you go on to give someone the benefit of the doubt, pull out all the stops, do everything you can in hopes they'll have a fortunate outcome and it's very gratifying when it happens."

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