Navy corpsman helps save driver in San Diego crash

CHULA VISTA, CA - A Navy corpsman helped save a man who was seriously injured in a San Diego multi-car crash believed to be the result of drunken driving.

The crash was reported at 11:18 p.m. in the 400 block of H Street in Chula Vista, south of San Diego.

Authorities said a silver Volkswagen Passat was traveling westbound when the driver lost control, hit another vehicle, which sent both cars into the center median. The Passat struck a tree and spun out. The driver of the Passat was thrown from the vehicle, which caught fire.

Justin Cortes, a Navy corpsman stationed at Balboa Hospital, said he and his wife were on their way to get food when he happened upon the crash.

Cortes said he had to drag the driver away from the crash scene because of the car fire. He administered aid to the driver, who at one point stopped breathing. Cortes said he was able to stabilize him with chest compressions.

"He was pretty banged up," described Cortes, who said he knew exactly what to do because of his job.

10News learned that the driver sustained major head injuries and was transported to Scripps Mercy Hospital. A passenger also sustained minor injuries.

"The cause of the collision has not been determined but alcohol appears to have been a factor," Wedge said.

East H Street east of Interstate 805, was closed for several hours early Wednesday for crash investigators.

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

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