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'I'm so thankful for him': Idaho woman looking for man who came to the rescue at car wash

The Salazar family is looking for the man that saved their mom after an injury at a car wash, which caused the Idaho woman to be pinned between her truck and a payment station at a car wash.

The Salazar family is looking for the man that saved their mom after an injury at a car wash, which caused the Idaho woman to be pinned between her truck and a payment station at a car wash. (Maricruz Salazar)


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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – An Idaho woman and her daughter are looking for an unknown man who came to the rescue after an accident caused the woman to be pinned between her truck and a payment station at a car wash.

Monday started just like any regular day, according to Maricruz Salazar, as she picked up food for her children and decided to stop by Soapy's Car Wash on Broadway Street in Idaho Falls to clean her truck before heading home.

"It was just a regular day. I was with my kids because they didn't go to school until Tuesday. I picked up some food, and then thought, 'You know what, let me go wash my truck,'" Salazar tells EastIdahoNews.com. "I went to the car wash, parked my truck and got out to pay. Suddenly my truck just slid off in reverse towards me."

Salazar says she was standing near the metal payment booth when the truck began moving. Inside were her 11-year-old daughter, 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

"I yelled to my daughter to jump in the driver's seat and put it in park. But when she parked it, the door slammed my arm into the metal box where you pay," said Salazar. "There was so much pressure I thought I was going to lose my arm."

Salazar's arm was pinned between the truck door and metal payment station so tightly that it was impossible to move. When she tried to wiggle it free, it only increased the pressure and pain.

"My three-year-old son didn't know what was happening. He was in the backseat laughing because I was yelling 'Help me! Help me!' to the (nearby businesses)," says Salazar. "I've never had anything like that happen to me."

Salazar's 11-year-old daughter ran to the other side of the door to try and free her mom's arm, but to no avail.

"I told her to go check to see if there was anybody else on the other side washing their car," says Salazar. "There was so much pressure that I thought I was going to die, honestly."

Finally, Natalie spotted a man driving a red Dodge Ram. She ran up to him and said her mom needed urgent help.

The man found Maricruz pinned by her truck to the payment station and jumped into action.

"He came around and he said 'What's going on?' and I said, 'Can you jump on the other side and try to move my truck?'" says Salazar. "I was screaming so bad. We didn't even have the time to call 911, it just happened."

According to Salazar, the man was able to jump in the passenger side of her truck, climb over into the driver's seat and move the truck just enough so her arm was freed.

"I was there for about 6-7 minutes with my arm stuck, and then he released it," says Salazar. "I remember he said I fell to the ground and passed out for a couple minutes. All I heard was my daughter screaming, 'Mom, wake up, wake up!'"

Salazar says she faintly remembers the man picking her up and setting her upright on the ground near her truck. She also remembers hearing the man comforting her distraught daughter.

"He was telling my daughter, 'It's OK young lady. Your mom is gonna be OK,'" says Salazar. "Then I just leaned back on my truck and said I'm just gonna breathe. He asked me if I was OK and everything, and then he called the police. "

Salazar says the man left before the cops arrived and she wasn't able to get his name or other information. She's desperate to get in touch with him.

"I don't know if he really wants to be known, but I just remember he was driving a red Dodge Ram and it had a big logo," says Salazar. "I called the owner of (the car wash) because I know they have cameras, but they haven't gotten a hold of me yet."

The Salazar family is hoping to get ahold of the man and thank him for saving Maricruz and comforting her daughter. Salazar says her daughter made him a personalized thank you card.

"I'm so thankful for him because I was there for 15-20 minutes and nobody else arrived," says Salazar.

After the incident, Salazar was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where she says the doctors and nurses were amazed by her daughters' bravery and the kindness of the stranger who freed her.

Maricruz Salazar’s arm, after getting pinned between her truck and a payment station at a car wash.
Maricruz Salazar’s arm, after getting pinned between her truck and a payment station at a car wash. (Photo: Maricruz Salazar)

"I'm a single mom with my three kids, I work, and I have a full-time job." says Salazar. "Me and my daughter have a little bit of money, so we wanted to get the man a gift card, and she wanted to thank him because she loves me a lot."

If you are or know the man who helped the Salazar family, send an email to news@eastidahonews.com.

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