Bystanders Rescue Man From Burning Car

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MILPITAS (KCBS) – A group heading to San Jose International Airport pulled a man from a burning car after it was hit by a truck on northbound Interstate 880 in Milpitas early Thursday morning.

Aaron Johnson told KCBS was driving a group of church members to the airport when he saw the car catch fire after it was rear-ended. The 58-year-old disabled truck driver said it was like something from the movies.

“It was crazy. We were trying to pull the door open, couldn’t pull the door open. He was trying to go out the side where the flames were, but we pulled him out the other side,” Johnson said. “We grabbed him and yanked him out of the car.”

Just in time as the fire then fully engulfed the sedan. Johnson felt the heat from the flames, and the smoke caused him some breathing issues which might prompt a visit to the doctor. But at the time, he never gave it a second thought.

“It goes to show how much people really do care. People jumped out of their cars, everybody was helping. It was the thing to do, it was the right thing to do,” he said.

CHP Officer Ross Lee said that initial reports indicated there were 10 cars involved, but further investigation showed the driver of a Ford F-350 rear-ended a Nissan sedan that caught on fire.

The Nissan driver was transported to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose for severe burns and broken ribs, Lee said.

One of the rescuers suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation.

A Sig-alert was issued at 5:40 a.m. blocking all northbound lanes until about 7:30 a.m.

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