Van Nuys pastor David Glass was sliding out from under his car after installing new brakes when he bumped his knee against the car jack, and several hundred pounds of automobile landed on his face.
Simultaneously, he heard his bones breaking, felt excruciating pain, thought of his two young children, prayed, and struggled to kick his feet so that someone would see him, he said. Finally, he lost consciousness.
Six Honored at Dinner
Then the miracles began, said Glass, 36, of Glendale, recounting his June 2 accident at a dinner Saturday to honor the six people who saved his life.
A neighbor coming home early from school spotted him pinned beneath the car, ran to her house and phoned for help. Although the girl's older sister called back the Glendale Fire Department to cancel the call after she thought the man was only working on his car, the two firemen responding to the call decided to check anyway.
Pinned Under Auto
They arrived to find Glass pinned beneath the right-front axle of his car, and with the help of two passers-by, lifted the automobile while a neighbor pulled Glass to safety.
"He didn't look like he was going to make it," said Glendale firefighter Mark Berg, one of those honored with gifts and certificates of appreciation from the Van Nuys Seventh Day Adventist Church, where Glass is a pastor. Berg administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and within a couple of minutes, Glass was breathing on his own.
Battalion Chief Charles Noon, one of the four men who lifted the car off Glass, suffered a fractured vertebra in the rescue and was in the hospital for five days. Noon, a 36-year Glendale Fire Department veteran, spent two months recovering from the injury.
Glass also suffered fractures of vertebra, ear and face, and lost two front teeth. He is now back to work tending to his 600-member congregation.
"The accident has given me a new appreciation for life," said Glass. "Some would call it luck, but I call it Divine Providence."
Neighbors Help in Rescue
Also honored by the more than 100 congregation members who attended the dinner were neighbors Anna and Katy Katiforis, Bill Ball and Bob Miller, who were driving by and stopped to help lift the car.
After passing out gifts, Glass was presented with his own gift from Debbie Smith of the church's social committee: a pair of car safety ramps.