An elderly couple was headed east on Highway 18 near Willamina Wednesday afternoon when they suddenly came upon a stopped vehicle in the road, waiting to turn left onto Pittman. There was no way 80 year old Paul Dolan could stop in time so he swerved to the right around the stopped vehicle.
But when he swerved, the car lunged and went out of control. It crossed both lanes then headed back and crossed over both lanes again. The car then careened off a steep embankment, then rolled, finally coming to rest on its top at the bottom of the embankment. Then, it caught fire.
Fortunately for Dolan and his 81 year old wife, several drivers saw what happened. They charged down the embankment on foot. They immediately saw the flames and went to work freeing the victims. They got them out just before the car became totally engulfed.
The fire began to spread to surrounding vegetation but arriving fire trucks put the blaze out very quickly.
There but for the kindness and courage of strangers go the Dolans.