In the wake of Monday's gruesome crosswalk accident on Moulton Parkway, a number of Good Samaritans came to the rescue.
Armed with umbrellas and blankets, they stopped to direct traffic, comfort the victim and even retrieve her severed leg.
The scene unfolded around 2:45 p.m. when Mariam Hedayati, 43, was hit by a silver Honda Civic as she walked across Moulton Parkway at Aliso Niguel.
"My husband and I were driving northbound on Moulton when I saw the body, and I jumped out of the car to see if I could help," said one woman, a San Joaquin Hills resident who asked not to be identified. "I then saw the leg lying about 30 feet across the street. A lot of people were helping and bringing towels, blankets. I took a towel and gently placed the leg in a bag. Things were chaotic, and people were everywhere. Everyone jumped into aid mode."
One person pulled a beach umbrella out of a car trunk to help shade Hedayati until paramedics arrived. And a retired police officer covered Hedayati with a blanket, the woman said.
"We wanted to keep her cool because it was so darn hot," she said. "He [the retired officer] knew exactly what to do, and checked to see if she had a pulse. I honestly couldn't understand how someone could have survived something like that. He gently moved her head to the side, and I saw she was breathing."
When deputies and paramedics arrived, the woman gave them the bagged leg, which still had a shoe and sock on it.
"My husband was directing traffic and the guy who hit her was sitting on the curb crying, clearly shaken, and his arms were bleeding," she said. "I didn’t see the accident happen, but I just did what I could to help."
She added: "When we first moved into San Joaquin, there wasn't even a light at Aliso Niguel and Moulton. I’m not sure if people are driving faster; I just think they are not paying attention. At first, I saw a lot of papers all over and thought maybe it was a kid who was hit coming home from school."
Hedayati remained in critical condition at Mission Hospital, officials said. It was not clear if doctors were able to save her leg.