Retired UFC fighter Brendan Schaub helped save several children from a deadly car crash after the driver allegedly drove into oncoming traffic in an attempt to kill his own family.
The former heavyweight contender turned podcaster and comedian detailed his experience on his show “The Fighter and the Kid.” On Aug. 12, he was driving to a restaurant with his wife in Encino, Calif., when they came upon the scene of the accident.
According to Schaub, he spotted a jackknifed tractor trailer blocking two lanes of the 101 freeway, and as he got closer, he saw a child on top of a mangled vehicle waving his hands asking for help.
“There’s a 6 or 7-year-old on top of the car [waving for help], yelling for help and I’m like, ‘Babe, that’s a f*cking kid,’” Schaub said. “She’s like, ‘Just keep going,’ and I’m like no, it’s a kid. Then he’s pointing down and there’s two other kids in the car.”
Schaub drove ahead of the crash to avoid the debris while also urging his wife to stay in their car to keep her from danger with cars whizzing by on the freeway. When he finally made it to the wrecked car, he said that there were multiple children inside and another person, and he attempted to pull everybody from the wreckage.
“The car’s all f*cking mangled, and there’s one other guy there who’s on the scene, maybe it’s the truck driver, I’m not sure, but me and him are the first ones on the scene,” Schaub said. “There’s two kids and there’s a bigger kid and he keeps going, ‘I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die,’ and I go, ‘You’re not going to die, buddy, you’re not going to die.’ I tell the guy back up, so I grab the door but it’s mangled from the crash, so it’s intertwined with the car.
“So I break the window, we break some of the window out. It’s already broke, I’m not like f*cking Captain America, so I’m pulling all the shattered glass and I take the kid through [the window].”
After pulling out another child, Schaub looked in the front seat, and that’s where he saw their mother, who had already died from the injuries suffered in the crash.
“I look and in the front is a lady who passed away,” Schaub described. “Brain matter everywhere, blood everywhere, and the kid’s going ‘mama, mama’ and I go, ‘Bubba, look at me, don’t look over there.’ He was so young, it would have completely f*cked him up. I go, ‘Look at me, don’t look over there, look at me.’”
The woman was later identified as 26-year-old Aimee Garcia. She was the only fatality from the accident with her four children surviving.
Schaub added that he saw the person he believed was the driver of the vehicle flee the scene after he was allegedly struck by another car as he ran across the freeway.
Police reports later identified the driver as Cesar Iban Torres, a 31-year-old man who has now been charged with murder, attempted murder, child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest after he allegedly drove into oncoming traffic in an attempt to kill his own family.
#BREAKING: Prosecutors say Cesar Iban Torres, 31, drove the wrong way with the intent to kill his girlfriend and their four children. He is charged with murder, attempted murder, child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. https://t.co/FnF4MJ9w6p— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) August 16, 2021
“A family has been torn apart by this tragic collision that leaves four young children without their mother,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
Following the accident, a GoFundMe page was set up by Garcia’s aunt to help pay for funeral costs. The aunt said her niece was a victim of “domestic violence for many years” before the deadly crash that took her life. She added that the children are fine but “very traumatized” from the incident.
Schaub also posted a link to the GoFundMe page after his harrowing experience helping to rescue the children following the devastating loss of their mother in the crash.
“I reached out to the aunt cause I’ll help pay for the funeral, I told her I’ll help pay for the funeral, but I want to help those kids out. How do you help the kids?” Schaub said on his podcast.
“I sent her an email and hopefully she gets back to me on that. What do you do? I don’t know what you do. I can raise money for them, I can do that.”