Man who rescued Lake of the Pines driver hailed as hero |

Man who rescued Lake of the Pines driver hailed as hero

John Hill's son, Danny, with his rescuer, Austin Martin.
Submitted photo |

The wife of a Lake of the Pines man who was trapped in his burning vehicle hailed the 22-year-old who rescued him as a hero, telling The Union, “He deserves to be applauded and rewarded.”

John Hill was driving on Highway 49 near Auburn at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 26, about to make a left-hand turn onto Rock Creek Road, said his wife, Roxana.

As he did so, the driver of a Suburban behind him swerved to his left, cutting him off and causing him to run into a ditch.

That driver then left the scene, Roxana Hill said.

But right behind the accident was Austin Martin, who jumped out of his car and ran to help.

“He was right there,” Roxana Hill said. “He couldn’t open the driver’s side door, so he tried to pull John over the back seat.”

When that didn’t work, Martin managed to force the driver’s door open and got John Hill out of the now-burning vehicle.

“He took video of the car, which was fully engulfed in flames,” Roxana Hill said.

John Hill remains in the trauma intensive care unit, his wife said, adding that he sustained multiple broken ribs, as well as fractures to his clavicle, sternum and jaw.

As of Monday, John Hill was expected to make a full recovery.

Martin, who lives in Auburn, is an expectant father who works three jobs, Roxana Hill said.

The Hills have been trying to repay Martin for his heroism, Roxana Hill said, collecting baby items and gift cards for him and his family.

“He’s a go-getter,” she said. “He’s a heck of a kid.”

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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