Pasadena teen recovering after dune buggy accident in Nevada Desert

America Salmeron
America Salmeron is recovering after an off-road accident left her with severe burns. Photo credit Arno Avakian/Go Fund Me

A Pasadena teen and firefighter-in-training is recovering after an off-road accident left her with severe burns.

America Salmeron, 17, was trapped under a dune buggy that flipped over and burst into flames in the Nevada Desert. She made it out, having to self-extricate herself.

“I saw death in front of my eyes, and I didn’t know what to do, but I told myself that if I don’t get myself out of here, no one will,” Salmeron said in an interview with KTLA.

“She has severe burns to over 51% of her entire body including third degree burns to her upper extremities,” according to a Go Fund Me page for Salmeron. “She is currently at a trauma center in Las Vegas undergoing multiple surgeries.”

Salmeron was a candidate in the Pasadena Firefighter Explorer and had been in the process of becoming a sponsored cadet at the Verdugo Fire Academy, KTLA reported.

Pasadena Deputy Fire Chief Tim Sell told KNX News’ Pete Demetriou that Salmeron is a “resilient young lady.”

“She was described as an extreme go-getter, an infectious personality willing to help any but she's got a true servant's heart is how she was described to me by one of the explorer leads,” he said.

Chief Sell added the department will offer her encouragement throughout her recovery process.

“We just want to make sure that she's not alone, that she understands that she's loved and we're still very much excited for her future and we will be with her every step of the way,” he said.

A Go Fund Me for Salmeron has received 590 donations as of Tuesday morning, raising $38,658.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Arno Avakian/Go Fund Me