(WSVN) - It was a fiery crash that trapped a young woman in her car. Her rescue was dramatic. Now, for the first time since the accident, this brave survivor shares her story with Rosh Lowe in tonight’s Lowedown.
Ashley Montes, rescued from car fire: “I feel like I wake up everyday, and the first thing I think is being confused.”
Ashley Montes almost lost her life. The 27-year-old was hospitalized in late November.
She was just released last week. Most of her family is in Peru, but her godmother is taking care of her now that she is at home.
Ashley Montes: “I almost died, but I’m alive, and I have to get better.”
Ashley was the passenger in a Dodge Challenger that rear ended a Miami-Dade Police car at 135st and Biscayne Boulevard. She fractured a vertebrae in her neck and suffered brain damage. And at the moment of impact, she lost consciousness.
Ashley Montes: “Not really knowing about it but hearing about it makes me sad.”
The sergeant in that marked patrol car was Wilbert Sanchez. He immediately jumped into action to save Ashley. The passenger door was jammed, and the burning hot flames created a daunting challenge for rescuers.
You can see the tense and frightening moments play out on the dash cam video from the car of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Yanier Diaz Bueno.
He was working an off duty job when he heard the accident. We spoke with his lieutenant about the heroic efforts.
Lt. Al Feola: “Without hesitation, he gets out of the car and runs into the fire to save the life of a person.”
Eventually, the fire was put out by Trooper Ronald Maxmilien, and Ashley was carried out of the car.
Ashley Montes: “They risked their lives to save me.”
Miami-Dade Police arrested Justin Alves-Daily for DUI. As for Ashley, she doesn’t remember a lot about the accident because she has lost 80 percent of her short-term memory.
Ashley Montes: “Remembering random things everyday is good. It makes me feel better.”
Her road to recovery is just beginning, but Ashley is fighting one day at a time.
Ashley Montes: “I’m not ready to die, and I’m lucky to be alive.”
Ashley has more than $600,000 in medical bills. If you would like to help in Ashley’s recovery, click here.
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