Scene of a fiery June 2 accident that reportedly captures former Arizona Diamondbacks player Luis Gonzalez at the scene.
Artie Cuffari


Arizona Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez helped pull a woman out from her smashed vehicle Friday afternoon after the car she was driving in was struck head-on.

“I just reacted. I didn’t think about it, to be honest with you,” Gonzalez said Saturday morning.

A friend who recorded some of the fiery chaos posted a video of the aftermath on Twitter. Gonzalez can be seen with his arm around the woman as they speak with a Paradise Valley police officer. A firefighter works to extinguish the vehicle fire in the background.

Artie Cuffari, 47, said he and a second friend were riding in a car with Gonzalez just after 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Paradise Valley area when a vehicle in front of them jumped the median on Lincoln Drive and smashed into the woman’s car head on.

“He (Gonzalez) said, ‘Oh my God look what happened,'” Cuffari said.

The car that hopped the median almost immediately burst into flames.

Cuffari said Gonzalez and Mike Mehan, the second friend, sprang into action while he called 911.

“I was just trying to get the lady out of the car,” Gonzalez said. “She was a little dazed and groggy. I was like, ‘Open the door, open the door, the other car is on fire.’ I didn’t know if the car was going to blow up or something because I was seeing flames coming out of it.”

Cuffari said Mehan managed to open the door and Gonzalez pulled the woman from the vehicle and to safety. 

“Gonzo pulled her out and held her the whole time,” Cuffari said. “She didn’t know what hit her.”

Gonzalez said he called the police station later Friday night to follow up, and an officer told him the woman and the other driver were doing OK. 

“I was just glad that I was there and able to help her out, and my friends were there to help diffuse the situation quick, and that the fire department and police department were outstanding,” he said. “I can’t say enough about those guys. It makes you appreciate what they do for a living more and more every day.”

Republic reporter Nick Piecoro contributed to this article.

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