LOS GATOS, Calif. – After a car crashed and overturned along a Bay Area highway, CrossFit coach Greg Pena jumped into action – scaling a massive wall to reach the injured, terrified occupants.
Pena was about to teach a class the morning of March 26 at the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet club, which has a workout area below Highway 17, when he heard a loud crash and saw smoke rising into the air, according to KPIX.
A Ford Expedition with six people inside – including a mother and three young children – had flipped, trapping them inside.
Pena used an adjoining chain-link fence to clamber up the 25-foot retaining wall, pulling himself onto the roadway.
He cut free the young children, whose car seats left them hanging upside down, then gave first aid to a teen who was bleeding from a cut on his head.
The driver, Jessica Magdaleno, remembers him as an angel who appeared when she needed him most. A devout Catholic, Magdaleno told reporters she prayed for Pena the following Sunday.
After finding out how Pena had risked his own safety to come to their aid, firefighter Scott Graham nominated him for a citizen's medal of valor award.
"I know he wouldn't call himself that, but yeah, I think what he did was heroic," Graham said.