Decades after horrific crash, lone survivor reunites with man who saved her life

After nearly 25 years, a woman found and reunited with a man she says saved her life after a horrific car crash.

The crash happened on I-5 southbound Nov. 27, 1993.

Five people were in the car. Everyone died, except one person; -- a teen.

“Just cannot forget that. Cannot forget that,” said Gus Mansour, who called 911 at the time.

It was the kind of scene so horrible the memory doesn't fade with time. Mansour said he sees the crash replay every time he drives by the exit.

KIRO7 talked with Mansour that night decades ago. 
"Flipping in the air and hitting right to the right," Mansour said at the time.

On Sunday, Mansour’s description of the crash nearly matched what he said 25 years ago.

“It was completely in the air. It was just unbelievable. It flipped, and the back of it hit the huge cement pole,” he said.

The date of the crash was Nov. 27, 1993, a time when most people didn't have cellphones.

But Mansour happened to be right there, happened to have a phone, and made the call to 911.

“I was screaming on the phone. ‘Please, we need you, as soon as possible, people are going to die,’” Gus said.

Four people in the car did die - including an 11-month-old boy. But Mansour’s call got first responders there in time to save 17-year-old Kimberly Saitta.

She spent more than eight months in the hospital.

“I basically broke every part of my body. My feet were hanging off. I had brain injuries, my eyes were out,” Saitta said.

Decades later, only the physical pain has faded.

“I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and I can't drive very well,” Saitta said. “I think about it all the time.”

During a particularly dark time last month, Saitta decided to start looking for peace.

“Flashbacks started coming and I felt very suicidal even though it's been 25 years,” she said. “That's why I'm trying to look for closure.”

Saitta searched for and found found the person she's always credited for saving her life: the man who called 911.

On Sunday, they met in Renton, reuniting for the first time.

Mansour walked down the sidewalk with a bouquet of flowers. Saitta watched him, choking up, then ran to him. The two hugged as Saitta burst into tears.

“If he didn't call (911) then I could've been sitting there for 20, 30 minutes. We don't know. So I say, ‘Gus saved my life.’ I don't care what he says,” Saitta said laughing.

Upon her request, we showed Saitta KIRO7’s coverage of the crash.

For the first time, she saw video of the wreckage. Again, saw the face of her best friend.

“I love you, Chrissy,” Saitta whispered through tears as Chrissy’s photo appeared on the screen.

And she saw her father who died last year.

“I feel very fortunate. I feel that the good Lord saved her,” her dad said in 1993.

Saitta said finding Mansour is already helping. She’s forming new, happy memories in a place where there was only pain.

“I'm not letting him go,” Saitta said.

“Yes, we will remain friends forever,” Mansour said.

Saitta says she believes God saved her for a reason.

After the accident, doctors told her she would never be able to have kids, but she has two children.

Saitta says she named them both after victims who died in the crash.

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