ATLANTA — A wild video shows the moment a teenager crashed into a woman and ran from the scene — but some good Samaritans made sure he didn’t get far.
The suspect in this case is only 16 years old.
The incident happened Oct. 9 as Brittany Lopez, 23, of Gwinnett County, was leaving work when the teen slammed into her car.
“All I can remember is the side of the air bag explode, and I blacked out,” Lopez said.
A video showed how the dangerous driver sped down the wrong side of the road and crashed into Lopez in the heart of Buckhead at the intersection of Peachtree and Stratford roads.
“This car was coming straight at me, and he didn’t even bother to break,” Lopez.
The impact was so violent that it sent Lopez flying across the intersection.
“Literally, by a thread, by the mercy of God, I lived that accident,” Lopez told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden.
Police said the other driver was 16 years old and was driving his mother’s Mercedes. A video showed him walking away from the wreck. But instead of checking on Lopez, he runs from the scene.
Lopez’s father was following behind her and saw what was happening.
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“He told me he was going to chase the guy, but he decided to look at me first,” Lopez said.
What the runaway teen didn’t know is that three good Samaritans working on a construction project near the crash scene were watching and quickly jumped into action.
“I saw the guy get out of the car and start running,” said Tristen Hall, an electrician who helped track the teen down.
“Initially, we lost him,” said Brandon Wigley, who is one of the construction workers.
But that’s when Chaz Albrecht, who practices jiujitsu, joined the chase.
After about 200 yards, a video shows the trio catch up with the teen driver.
According to police, the teen was armed with a handgun and nearly $4,000 in cash.
Photos show Albrecht using his training to hold down the teen until police arrived.
“I pinned his hips down, and I had shoulder pressure on his chin to keep him from turning in to me,” Albrecht said.
After his interview, Seiden met up with Albrecht outside Atlanta Police Headquarters, where officers praised him for his good deed.
“You’re a good guy. You acted out of instincts just trying to help someone,” one of the officers told him.
But police aren’t the only ones showing their appreciation. Seiden played him a message from Lopez.
“I am forever grateful to them. God bless you guys. You guys are amazing,” Lopez said in the message.
“We acted on what we thought was right at the time,” Albrecht said.
This 16-year-old driver is facing numerous charges, including reckless driving, hit and run and furnishing a pistol.
But because he’s not considered an adult under Georgia law, he was taken to a nearby hospital and then released to his mother without ever facing a judge or spending a day in juvenile detention.
As far as Lopez is concerned, her car is totaled, which means she can’t work and is now worried about losing her apartment. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Lopez with her expenses.
Cox Media Group