Accident

Dec 5, 2012 10:16 PM

Neighbors Help Save Crash Victim

A fiery crash left a driver trapped in his car. It happened this afternoon on Montavesta Road, just off Tates Creek. If it wasn't for people living nearby, and officers first on the scene, the man behind the wheel may not have survived.

Looking at the torched shell of this car, you wouldn't think the driver made it out alive. But look closer, at the driver's seat, and you'll see it's unscathed. That may be thanks to a handful of quick thinking neighbors and police officers.

"Shortly after we looked in the car and tried to get the door open, it started to catch on fire," says Barrett Christensen.

Christensen heard the crash from his house, less than 50 feet from the road. He and his dad ran to the driver's window, where they found a man trapped, his door jammed.

"We just started calling for fire extinguishers just to try and keep the flames down. It looked like the gas was dripping down to the leaves. So every time we put it out, it would start right back up," Christensen says.

Police say the 53 year old driver slammed into two parked SUVs, and some kind of medical condition caused him to lose control. Christensen says he and his neighbors used about 15 fire extinguishers to fight the fire. An officer even grabbed Christensen's garden hose to keep the driver cool.

"At one time we had two to three people spraying the car from all different sides. We were able to keep it from engulfing the car," he says.

"They actually saved his life. He was trapped. There was no way the officers could have gotten him out of the vehicle," says Lt. Chad Bacon with the Lexington Police Department.

Firefighters arrived and used the jaws of life to cut open the side of the car. The driver went to the hospital with smoke inhalation, but no burns, thanks to some heroes on Montavesta Road.

Three other people who helped fight the fire went to the hospital with smoke inhalation. No word on how the driver is doing.

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