Neighbor and passersby pull baby and mother out of fiery head-on collision

A witness and people passing by jumped into action to rescue a baby and her mother from their burning car after a head on crash on FM 1343. Emergency crews were on the way and extricated the others, unfortunately one person in the other vehicle did not survive.

According to reports, 63-year-old Mrs. Maria Concepcion Michel lost her life in the tragic crash this past Thursday, November 29 on FM 1343 between Devine and Castroville. Two other adults were injured and transported to University Hospital (see crash report below).
A woman who lives nearby says she pulled a toddler out of the burning SUV right after the terrible collision when she began hearing his screams and seeing it catch fire. While she comforted the child, she stated that about six other people stopped to help. Two men were able to pull the child’s mother out of the burning vehicle as well, while emergency responders rushed to the scene near Cattleman’s Crossing and Alsatian Heights area, she said.
“I was outside when it happened,” said Tammy Hill, who saw the accident happen. “I reacted when I heard screaming and the baby crying. The car was on fire, and I reached in and grabbed the baby and got him away from the vehicle. His mom was thrown to the passenger side seat and stuck inside the vehicle. I was stopping vehicles asking if anyone had a fire extinguisher, but no one did. About six other people got out and started helping. Two men pulled the child’s mother out away from the vehicle.”
ESD 1 fire crews arrived within 10 minutes of the multiple 911 calls, they reported.
“Two patients were entrapped in one of the vehicles (the truck), while the other vehicle was catching fire. Crews worked to free both adult passengers while additional crews were extinguishing the fire.”
Community EMS and Aircare transported the two adult patients with injuries.
The official DPS report states: “A 2002 Ford Explorer, driven by Christen Roxann Vann, 31, was traveling south on SH 1343. A 2004 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Francisco Esparza-Martinez, 50, and occupied by Maria Concepcion Michel, 63, was traveling north on FM 1343. For reasons not yet known, the Explorer veered into the northbound lane and struck the Toyota. Ms. Vann and Mr. Esparza-Martinez were transported to University Hospital for treatment. Ms. Michel was transported to BAMC where she was pronounced dead. The crash is currently under investigation and all contributing factors are not yet known. DPS reminds drivers to obey traffic control devices, don’t exceed the speed limit, minimize distractions and don’t drive fatigued. The crash report will be available at once the investigation is completed.”