Crash Victim Reunited With Good Samaritan

"God put me there at the right time for a reason," says rescuer.

By Shawna Prince
|  Sunday, Apr 17, 2011  |  Updated 3:29 PM CDT
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Good Samaritan Reunites With Car Accident Victim

Good Samaritan Reunites With Car Accident Victim

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Beth Wallace was the driver in this crash. We apologize for this mistake.

After she was rescued in dramatic fashion from a mangled car, Beth Wallace got a chance that few crash victims ever have: to personally thank the person who rescued her.

On August 26th, Wallace, a 23-year-old Loyola student, was riding as a passenger in a car driven by a friend, Samantha Brant.  Brant told the Downers Grove Reporter she was driving her Honda CRV on I-88 when she fainted with the cruise control set at 70 mph.

The vehicle went through a median, rolled over, went airborne, and then landed in oncoming traffic, striking the back of a tractor trailer.

Wallace found herself trapped by her seatbelt, but she was saved by a Good Samaritan.

"I could hear someone scream, 'Get my seatbelt off!'," said Holly Swaim of Oak Lawn, who is a student at Northern Illinois University. "God put me there at the right time for a reason."

Swaim used a pocket knife to free Wallace from the seatbelt that was choking her.

"I couldn't move my neck, so all I saw was Holly," said Wallace. "She cut my seatbelt for me. I asked if she would hold me, so I remember she just kept saying to me, 'You're alive, you're going to be OK.' She just sat with me the whole time and I'm just so thankful that she was there."

On Wednesday, Wallace met Swaim. The two students had an emotional embrace moments before they addressed the media at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital.

Dr. James Cole, Trauma Surgeon treated Wallace for her injuries and was happy to meet the woman who just may saved her life.

"You did what so few people do nowadays," Cole said to Swaim. "You helped when most people keep driving by. I think that the care that you provided was more important than the care I provided."

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