RIPON - Shana Winkler was late to work Monday afternoon at Kelly Brothers Brewery as she was busy being a Good Samaritan to two small children injured in a car crash she came up in the countryside east of Ripon.
Winkler said she was westbound on River Road at Carrolton Road when she saw a cloud of dust at a distance in front of her. When the dust cleared she saw two crumpled cars with men pushing one to the edge of the roadway.
Stopping her pickup truck, she ran to the vehicle and saw two women trapped in the front seats. She was unable to open the doors to help them out, but almost immediately she heard the screams from two small children.
Winkler reached through the front window to unlock a rear door of the demolished car in her attempt to reach the children.
She said she saw they were on the floor - one in a car seat and the other without any obvious restraints. The brewery server said she carried the children to the shade of trees on the corner only feet from the crumpled vehicles.
Winkler sat on the grass caressing the boys - one about 4 years and the other some 14 months old - as a passerby attempted to get the women out of their car using a crow bar, according to a fire department spokesman. Fire personnel arrived on the scene and completed the extrication using their specialized emergency tools. They didn't need the Jaws of Life.
One witness said the woman sat with the children for 20 to 30 minutes attempting to calm the boys as firefighters arrived and prepared the women to be transported in two of three ambulances to area hospitals. A helicopter that had been originally summoned to the scene was called off as a third ambulance responded from Modesto.
A CHP officer said the driver of the mid-‘90s Honda that had been traveling westbound on River Road was a 20-year-old Stockton woman. The driver of the eastbound Dodge Intrepid was an 18-year-old Ripon teen who was uninjured in the crash.