PORTLAND – A Good Samaritan was pulled a 21-year-old woman out of a burning car after a rollover crash in Northeast Portland Thursday night.
Shawn Stevenson said he and his family were on their way to visit their grandmother when he saw the car flipped on its side near NE 148th Avenue and NE Halsey Street. The driver, 21-year-old Jerusalem Dimbore, had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed, according to police.
"I didn't even realize it, but I was hanging,” Dimbore said. She was bruised on her neck, where the seat belt was holding her up.
“I started praying, asking God, ‘Please, please help me," she told KGW. “I could feel the fire in my throat; I was having a hard time breathing."
Stevenson said Dimbore was trapped inside and pounding on the windows as flames began to erupt. He was so anxious to help her that he broke the door handle on his own car and climbed out of his window just to get to her.
“When I first saw the flames go I thought, ‘Is this really happening?’ And there's a person trapped inside,” Stevenson said. “It seemed like a Hollywood thing, it was hard to wrap my mind around it. It was a matter of finding anything to break the window.”
He smashed the back door window with a hammer that a neighbor tossed to him. Then he pulled Dimbore from the burning car.
She escaped with only minor cuts and bruises. She said it was a terrifying experience and she believes she only lived to tell about it because of Stevenson’s selfless actions.