Good Samaritans pull man from burning car on I-84

The crash happened on I-84 in Meridian.

MERIDIAN -- One man was taken to the hospital after a serious overnight crash on Interstate 84.

Idaho State Police say the driver was headed west near the Cloverdale overpass at about 1 a.m.. when he lost control.

The man's car slammed into the concrete barrier several times and caught fire.

By the time police arrived at the scene, the man's car was completely engulfed in flames, ISP Trooper Frank Pinkney said. Firefighters and paramedics got to the scene a short time later and extinguished the vehicle.

Pinkney said the driver was rescued by a pair of Good Samaritans driving by just after the wreck happened.

"They saw the car on fire, pulled over, stopped and pulled him out of the vehicle," he said. "Had they not been there, the situation could have been far worse."

KTVB spoke with the couple heralded as heroes. They say they have never been in a situation like that before, but they knew pulling the driver out of that burning car and into safety was what they had to do.

Casey Roberts and Tauni Hess were on their way home to Nampa from Boise around 1 a.m.. Friday.

"We saw this car that was just stopped in middle of freeway," Casey Roberts said. "As soon as we passed it I looked in my mirror and saw flames coming out of the hood."

They say they pulled over across the interstate to the left shoulder.

"I ran up to the car and I saw there was a guy in there, just hunched over off to the side," Roberts told KTVB.

"It was so smoky that I didn't really notice there was someone in the vehicle until I was literally this close," Hess added. "And I said, 'oh my God, there's someone in there.'"

The hood of the man's car was engulfed in flames, the front of the car torn off.

Roberts says he yanked open the driver's door, unbuckled his seat belt, and pulled him out.

"You do what you [have to] do to get him out of there," Roberts said. "If you got a heart then anybody would do it."

He dragged the man away from the car, started checking his pulse and says he did whatever he could to wake him up and keep him conscious.

Tauni says she called 911 and then rushed to comfort the man.

"I just want to make sure he's okay and for him to know that he's lucky. I want to meet his family," Hess added. "God has a plan for him."

The driver was taken by ambulance to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. The extent of his injuries was unknown, and his identity has not been released.

It's unclear what caused the man to lose control. The wreck remains under investigation.

"Even on these early mornings when there's not that much traffic, it's still important to pay attention to what you're doing, and always wear your seatbelt," Pinkney said.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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