Family members are identifying the freshman football player hit by a car Monday night.
They say 16-year-old Maddox Sanders, a Granite Hills (El Cajon, Calif.) freshman, was crossing a street in El Cajon, Calif., at around 8 p.m. when it happened.
The victim’s brother, Brandon Sanders, told San Diego’s KNSD-TV that Maddox is in critical care but stable condition at a nearby hospital.
As KNSD tells it, the fast action of U.S. Navy Corpsman Emily Bustos may have been key to Sanders’ survival. One of the first people to reach him as he laid in the street, she performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.
Bustos was on leave from the Navy and was less than 24 hours away from departing for her own wedding in Hawaii.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in the world than there in that moment. I’m glad I was there,” Bustos told KNSD.
Bustos told KNSD that she saw the accident happen. Investigators say a white Toyota RAV-4 struck Sanders at some 50 mph, and that 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 told KNSD.
Per KNSD, the victim, fellow Granite Hills teammate Michael Mettler and two others were trying to beat traffic in crossing the street on their way to a friend’s house.
Three made it, while 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 told KNSD.
“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.”
According to KNSD, 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 an emergency.
The victim’s brother appreciated Bustos’ care at such a shocking time.
“The family is so very thankful. Without her, my brother would not be where he is now,” Brandon Sanders told KNSD.