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Riverdale woman dragged under car
Police: Good Samaritan helped save life

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A Clayton County woman is being credited with saving the life of a woman who was pinned under her car and dragged more than 100 feet on Jonesboro Road Wednesday.

Dana Jones, 20, of Riverdale, was apparently having car trouble and stopped in the roadway on Jonesboro Road near Ga. Highway 138 around 1:30 p.m., according to Clayton County Police Spokesperson Lt. Rebecca Brown.

"She [Jones] stated that she got under her car to knock on the starter and apparently did not have it completely in park," Brown said in a statement. "When the car started to roll, her foot got caught on one of the tires," said Brown.

"The good Samaritan who stopped the vehicle is Raquel Hernandez," Brown said in the statement.

Hernandez, 27, of Ellenwood, is a tax preparer for NL Preparation Services on Jonesboro Road.

She said she was working at her desk when the incident started.

"The first time I looked out my window I saw her [Jones] stop, and she was messing with her car," said Hernandez.

"I continued to do what I was doing, and I started hearing her yell. I looked out my window, and she was being dragged by her car," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said she ran outside to help. "It [the car] was moving very slow. I put the car in park and turned off the engine," she said. "She had a baby with her - eight months old. She [the baby] was in her car seat."

Hernandez said she then opened the trunk to get the car jack.

"Someone else came and helped jack up the car, but he had to stop because she [Jones] was in pain. Her right leg was stuck to the wheel. We just had to wait with her until the police department arrived," she said.

Brown said that in the meantime, witnesses saw an ambulance at the traffic light and flagged it down.

Police shut down the intersection to land a helicopter, which transported Jones to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Brown did not have information about the extent of Jones' injuries, but did say, "She's not critical."

Brown said Clayton County Police Officer Mike Bryson followed up with Jones at the hospital.

"The officer [Bryson] said she was going to be all right. Apparently so - she was talking to him," Brown said.

Hernandez said Jones had also been talking earlier at the scene, before medical help arrived.

"She said 'where is my daughter?'" Hernandez said. "I got the baby and her purse. She asked me to call her sister. Her sister [later] came and took the baby," she said.

Hernandez said because the business where she works is located near a busy intersection, she sees a lot of car accidents, "but nothing like this."

"The scariest thing is the intersection light was red. If we didn't stop her, she would have passed [through] the light, right into traffic," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said although the incident was scary, "Anybody would have done the same thing [to help]."

"It does my heart good to hear about situations where citizens jump in to help people in need," said Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner. "There have been too many times when people have turned their heads. It's good to know that we have people out there that are willing to help their fellow man," he said.