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Off-duty firefighter saves the life of woman hit by driver under the influence

Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 00:54:17-05

A woman is recovering from major injuries after a man suspected of driving under the influence hit her Friday morning in San Luis Obispo.

What unfolded after the crash likely saved Lilianne Tang’s life.

An off-duty firefighter saw the aftermath of the crash that happened at the intersection of Monterey and Johnson.

He then pulled over and crawled under an overheating car to save the woman, but he says he couldn’t have done it alone.

“It hit me that someone needed to step up and save a life and I was there, right place, right time,” said Ryan Anderson, a CAL FIRE firefighter who helped save Tang’s life.

Anderson was on his way to a training when he says he saw a distressed man with a pry bar and Tang underneath a car.

He then pulled over and got nearly 20 people to help lift and hold the car so he could crawl under and rescue Tang.

“I trusted everyone, it all happened in the blink of an eye, but I was underneath trying to get her,” added Anderson.

Anderson says the car was dangerously hot, something known as a “hotzone” and his EMS training kicking in immediately.

“We are not just trained to serve on the fire engine, we are good people and there are good people.”

Tang’s aunt says the family is forever grateful for the people who helped out that Friday morning.

“True heroes, that truly saved her life and we are truly grateful for that,” said Kem Ov, Tang’s aunt. “To all the people that were there, thank you, she wants to give a big thumbs-up for everyone that is standing by.”

Beya Montero, Tang’s friend and officemate at the Cal Poly Cross Cultural Center, hopes to see her back at work soon.

“She has made such a huge contribution and she’s only been here for a little while,” said Montero.

In a near-death moment, Anderson says Tang was thinking about her loved ones.

“She said she loves her family and her boyfriend and thank you,” added Anderson.

Tang’s family and Anderson want to thank everyone who stepped up to help at the scene.

Tang was airlifted to a hospital in Fresno and her family says she has been through a number of surgeries, but is responsive.

Her GoFundMe page can be found here.

Police arrested the driver, Christopher Boyle, who is suspected of driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs. His bail is set at $100,000.