San Diego

Navy Corpsman Likely Saved the Life of Granite Hills High School Football Player Hit By Car in El Cajon

Family members are identifying the Granite Hills freshman football player hit by a car Monday night in El Cajon.

They say 16-year-old Maddox Sanders was crossing East Washington Avenue at Waterloo Avenue at around 8 p.m. when it happened.

The victim's brother, Brandon Sanders, told NBC 7 that Maddox is in critical care but stable condition at Scripps Memorial Hospital.

That, thanks in part to the fast action of U.S. Navy Corpsman Emily Bustos, one of the first people to reach Maddox as he laid in the street.

She performed CPR until the ambulance arrived and may have saved his life.

Bustos was on leave, but less than 24 hours before departing for her own wedding in Hawaii, duty called.

"I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else in the world than there in that moment. I'm glad I was there,“ Bustos said.

Bustos didn't just happen upon the accident, she saw it.

Investigators say a white Toyota RAV-4 struck Sanders at some 50 mph. The impact knocked his shoes off and threw him 30 feet forward.

"I saw him when he got hit and he flew. I was shocked," Bustos said.

The victim, along with fellow Granite Hills teammate Michael Mettler and two others were trying to beat traffic across Washington Avenue on their way to a friend's house.

Three made it. Maddox did not.

"I could tell he was going into cardiac arrest. So I checked his pulse and didn't feel anything and that's when I started administering CPR,” Bustos said.

Bustos says, and witnesses confirm, Maddox's breathing began to steady and he even tried to stand up after just a few CPR reps.

Bustos, about to embark on her "happily-ever-after," carries with her the same hope for the Sanders family.

"I just want to know that he is OK, and I hope that his parents are OK and his family's alright. I just hope he pulls through and he makes it,“ Bustos said.

The victim's brother had this to say about Bustos helping his brother at this critical time.

"The family is so very thankful. Without her, my brother would not be where he is now," Brandon Sanders said.

Brandon also said it will be at least a couple days before doctors will know more about Maddox's recovery.

Bustos is one of three corpsmen serving 300 sailors on USS Milius.

She teaches CPR, but this is the first time she has had to use it in a real emergency.

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