Rady Children's Hospital

‘Picked the Right Field': Nurse Who Helped Save Crash Survivor Shares Her Story

Sasha Sanchez is trained to administer CPR but this was her first real emergency

A nurse who came to the aid of a 6-year-old girl, not breathing after being seriously injured in a crash involving a big-rig on the State Route 125 in La Mesa, spent hours visiting the little girl she helped save.

Sasha Sanchez told NBC 7 she's barely slept since the deadly crash on Wednesday that claimed the lives of a mother and daughter.

Sanchez said she has thought a lot about the incident and about Kristina, the little girl she gave CPR to in the aftermath of the horrifying crash.

Kristina survived.

Sanchez visited the little girl Friday at Rady Children's Hospital and spent three hours with the girl and her mother, Aneta Andarus.

Sanchez said that when she saw the crash on SR-125 at Interstate 8, she knew she had to stop and do what she could to help the victims.

"Somebody needed help, and I didn't think that anybody else was going to help as much as I wanted to," Sanchez said.

Sanchez, in her scrubs and on her way to work, was in the car behind Andarus.

She saw the driver of a big rig lose control, careen off the freeway lanes and plow into two vehicles, including the one carrying Andarus, Kristina, and her other 4-year-old daughter.

Kristina suffered a broken neck and damage to her spine. She stopped breathing twice.

“I literally saw the color wipe off her and she stopped squeezing my fingers," Sanchez said.

Sanchez, a Licensed Vocational Nurse, is trained to administer CPR but this was her first real emergency. She does not work in traditional emergency response but instead works at a specialized mental health care facility.

Still, she jumped into action.

Sanchez said she was able to revive Kristina twice. She held her hand and consoled the little girl until paramedics arrived.

Sanchez said she doesn't remember much of the chaos at the scene. But she is sure of one thing.

"I definitely picked the right field, definitely. There is nothing else than I would rather do with my life," Sanchez said.

Kristina's little sister, 4-year-old Chloe suffered minor injuries. Chloe was comforted by Heartland Fire & Rescue Department firefighter paramedic Ryan Lopez at the scene. The tender moments between Lopez and Chloe were captured on news chopper video as the firefighter held the little girl in his arms, rocking her back and forth.

Sanchez is relieved to know the sisters will recover and will go on to live their lives.

"Kristina deserves to grow up next to [Chloe] running and living her life the way they were before the tragedy happened," Sanchez said.

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