A Hollister mother and her 8-year-old son nearly drowned in a flood in Salinas before they were saved by a Rick Biddle, a homeless man from a nearby.
Abby Valladarez, 28, and her son, Mikey Azevedo, were plucked from water raging through a storm canal by Biddle and California Highway Patrol Officer Chad Cavender late Tuesday night.
“If Rick wasn’t here, who knows what would have happened? She could have kept going and they might not have found, neither of them. We’re just very thankful,” said Henry Azevedo, a close relation of Valladarez
Valladarez was driving a Toyota Scion on Highway 101 near the North Sanborn Road overpass when she was forced off the road. The car careened down an embankment and their car landed in a flooded culvert with fast-moving water. Valladarez and her son got out of the car, but they were swept into large pipes that went under Highway 101.
Investigators said the two traveled about the length of five football fields before popping out near Biddle’s homeless camp.
“Your mama went over a half-mile in the darkness through that tunnel not being able to see and all she could think about was you. That’s all she could think about. God I’m glad she’s all right,” Biddle told Valladarez’s son.
On Wednesday afternoon, family members found Biddle at his homeless camp and showed their appreciation by giving him two new sleeping bags, a heavy jacket, propane stove and other necessities. Also, A Go Fund Me page was also set up by the victims’ family to collect donations for Biddle.
Mikey walked away from the frightening experience with merely a few scratches and a sore wrist.”I thought that I was going to die, like, drown, because I didn’t know how to swim. I was yelling for help hoping someone would find me,” he said.
“I can’t imagine a person going through that and living to talk about it. She’s lucky, and so is he, to be here,” Biddle said.
See the full story at: http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-coast-rallies-behind-salinas-homeless-hero/37568604