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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KSDK) - A soldier form O'Fallon, Mo., stationed in California, saved the lives of four people involved in a car accident earlier this month.

Sgt. Richard Skates, 25, is an amphibious assault vehicle crewman. He and his wife, Jacqueline, and child were driving on an exit ramp from state Route 78 to Interstate Highway 5 July 9 when they noticed an overturned vehicle in a ditch. It was standing son its end.

Skates said he could hear the crash victims yelling for help, so he reached into the back of the vehicle and pulled two children out, and then a teenager from the passenger seat.

He then crawled into the vehicle through the passenger side window and talked to the driver to keep her calm. He stayed inside the vehicle as a towing crew stabilized it by rolling it onto its roof.

Once the vehicle was stable, Skates helped the driver crawl out of the window.

Skates says lifesaving techniques he learned in recruit training came right back to him.

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