Probation and Parole officer rescues woman before car explodes

photo of oscar
Arguello

It sounds like something out of a movie – a car crashes near railroad tracks as a train approaches. A hero springs into action and pulls a woman from the wreckage just before it bursts into flames…

That really happened!  And the hero is one of IDOC’s own.

Oscar Arguello, a probation and parole officer in District 3 was serving as duty officer on Monday when he was called away to transport an offender from the Nampa Community Reentry Center to the South Idaho Correctional Institution.  

While returning to the office after the transport, Oscar noticed a car driving erratically with a blown tire by the railroad tracks on Linden Ave. near Caldwell Blvd. in Caldwell. He watched as the car blew through a stop sign at about 35 miles an hour and crashed into a muddy pit just short of an oncoming train.

Oscar used his radio to call for help then sprang into action. The car was not at risk of being hit by the train, but the woman’s foot was on the gas pedal flinging dirt and dust.

While assessing the situation and keeping the driver calm, a fire in the engine compartment ignited.  Oscar pulled the driver -- an elderly woman who appeared to have suffered a stroke – from the vehicle. 

Within seconds of removing the woman, the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.

Two other probation and parole officers, Brian Hein and Steve Landers, happened across the scene. They ran to help Oscar and comforted the woman till paramedics arrived.

“This is truly a heroic act,” says Cory Barrier, District 3’s deputy manager.  “There is absolutely no doubt had Oscar not taken action this woman would have died in the fire.”

When the excitement was over, Oscar returned to the duty-officer desk in his wet, muddy boots and picked up where he left off. 

Cory says they offered to let him take the rest of the day off, but Oscar wanted to finish his shift.

Story published: 10/26/2017
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