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Dispatcher saves woman, child in car with stuck accelerator

October 18, 2011 |  7:56 am

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s dispatcher’s quick thinking and calm demeanor saved a woman and her small child after their car accelerator jammed as they headed toward an intersection.

Dispatcher Richard Engersbach was working the day shift Monday morning at the Crescenta Valley station when he received the call from a woman desperate because the accelerator on her Ford Escort was stuck.

Her car was moving about 25 mph and she was unable to stop it as she approached a red light at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Sport Chalet Drive, according to a Sheriff’s Department report.

She told the dispatcher she had a small child in the car.

Engersbach calmed the woman and told her to put the car in neutral and turn off the engine.

She did, and the car slowed and the engine died before the car reached the intersection.

No one was hurt.


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 -- Sam Quinones