Good samaritan in Folsom saves woman from burning car - but not DUI

Woman was allegedly fleeing accident when her vehicle caught fire
By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
-A +A
One Folsom man’s kindness led him to become a hero in a sticky situation. James Brown, 59, of Folsom, found that helping others has become a common practice. Recently, Brown was driving home after dropping his grandchildren off at school, when he found himself pulling a woman from a burning car. On the afternoon of Dec. 7, at Glenn and East Bidwell streets, Brown said he heard a thump, saw a car drive into a bush and start burning. “I jumped out of my car and helped open her car door, unbuckle her seatbelt and pulled her out,” Brown said. He said the woman was semi-unconscious and passed out after he pulled her out of the vehicle. “I helped her stand up, she was half in and half out (of consciousness),” he said. “I don’t know why she passed out.” Moments later, Brown said someone else arrived and called for assistance. “Things happen for a reason, I happened to be there at the right time,” Brown said. “It was a test for me to stop and do the right thing — and I passed.” Dennis Wycoff, Folsom Fire Department division chief of operations, said the female driver was allegedly driving under the influence at the time, and was fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run collision before her car caught fire. According to the Folsom Police Department crime logs, Judith Obriencameron, 57, of Orangevale was involved in a collision at 3:30 p.m. at the 500 block of E. Bidwell Street. No injuries were reported. Obriencameron was arrested and booked into Sacramento County Jail that same day. “Judith Obriencameron was involved in a hit-and-run near Circle K on East Bidwell and was said to be driving drunk,” said Sgt. Jason Browning, Folsom Police spokesperson. “Afterward, her car caught fire near the Rite Aid on Glenn. The officer working at the incident then submitted her paperwork to the District Attorney’s office to determine the outcome.” Wycoff said damage done to her vehicle in the accident ultimately caused the fire. “When the driver kept going, the oil spill and damage to the vehicle caused the engine to explode,” Wycoff said. “She then lost control of the car and ran into the bush.” Brown said he hopes people make positive choices. “I hope that by hearing this story, it will spark someone else to do the right thing and pull over to help someone,” Brown said. “It’s all about helping each other, no matter the situation.”