Lindsay Shabazian was hit by a car from behind as she was helping push a stranded motorist's vehicle YouCaring

A good Samaritan faces the rest of her life with a disability after losing both her legs while trying to help a stranger in a stalled car.

Mother of two Lindsay Shabazian decided to stop and help an elderly motorist as she was travelling along a Sacramento County road in California on Thursday night (7 December).

But as she began pushing the stalled car she was hit from behind by another vehicle in a violent collision that severed her legs, cracked her ribs and broke her pelvis.

Troy Goings, a physiotherapist, was one of several road users who rushed to Shabazian's aid after the crash.

"I was coming down Roseville Road on the way home from work. When I got a little bit closer, I saw Lindsay's leg probably 20 yards from the car," Goings told ABC10.

"I got off my bike and went and asked what was going on. They said there's someone stuck underneath the car."

Goings went to help Shabazian as they waited for paramedics to arrive.

"She asked me 'do I have my legs?'" Goings recalled. "'Did I lose my legs?' And I told her I'm being honest it's not looking good now but today is your first day of recovery."

Shabazian is still in hospital and faces a long road to learning how to walk again.

Her mother, Penny Shabazian, said: "I keep telling her she has her arms to hold her babies and she'll get prosthetics or whatever, and she'll be able to learn how to walk, and live her life. She's a tough cookie."

Goings decided to help raise money and collect Christmas gifts for Shabazian and her four-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son, who were in her car at the time of the accident.

"I didn't want them to worry about Christmas presents or anything to take the burden off of the family," Goings said. "I wanted to make sure I could help."

As of Thursday, a fundraising page set up by Shabazian's family has also raised more than $5,300.