Lehigh family pulled from crash; looking for family who helped

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LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – A family on their way back from a funeral crashed into a guardrail and passersby stopped to help pull them to safety.

Inside the car was a mother and her two boys.

Lina Ruff tells WINK News it was pitch black along US Route 27 when her car went off the road. She says she tried to correct it, lost control. The car slammed into a guardrail.

Another family driving by saw the crash and jumped out to help. While drifting in and out of consciousness, Ruff could only think of one thing– her boys in the back seat.

“She risked her life for the boys,” said Jeremy Ruff who began to cry. “It means a lot.”

As strangers jumped out to help, Lina Ruff shouted to help her children first.

“She says ‘don’t worry about me, get the kids out’ of the car,” said Jeremy Ruff.

The family was able to pull Kasey and Logan to safety. They tried to go back for Lina; she was halfway out of the car. The family assisting was waving a flashlight to on coming cars as a warning but one SUV didn’t stop. It plowed right into the car.

“It wasn’t pretty,” said Lina Ruff’s sons, Kasey and Logan who saw it happen. “I got all afraid for my mom. I was worried sick about my mom. They hit her and she was bleeding.”

Ruff was ejected from the car and thrown into the roadway, but she survived.

“If those people were not there at that time, my kids would not be here,” said Ruff. “I probably would have died with them.”

She says just before the accident, she asked one of the boys sitting up front to get in the back. If they were in the car when the SUV hit them, they would have been on the side that was crushed on impact.

Ruff has 50 staples, most of which are in her legs. She can barely walk and the injuries will take a year to heal. But that is not her focus, just as in those moments during the accident, she continues to focus on her family and those who saved their lives.

“You were there because God sent you,” says Ruff to the family who saved hers. “So if those people are watching, thank you so much for being there. I hope we can reach out to you where ever you are to say thank you.”

With tears in his eyes, Jeremy Ruff thanked the family too. “I’m glad you stopped, it means a lot. [I] thank you so much.”

The Ruff’s posted their story to social media hoping to find anyone who could connect them with the family who saved them.

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