Police, bystanders save man from burning car that had crashed into building

PALATINE, Ill. (WLS/CNN) - Nearby witnesses sprang into action when they saw a 48-year-old man’s car plow into a vacant store in an Illinois strip mall.

The driver was taken to the hospital with burn injuries but his condition is not known. (Source: WLS/CNN)

Their quick thinking may have saved the driver's life. The frantic rescue was captured on video.

The driver was still behind the wheel as flames consumed the vehicle.

"It all happened literally so fast. I don't know even know how much time it took, but it seemed like a minute. Everything happened so quick," said Wayne Graham, one of the men who rushed to help. "Saw a car sticking out of the building and fire coming out of the building. I probably swore, turned around, ran back and grabbed the fire extinguisher."

The driver wasn’t responding as Graham and others tried to keep the flames at bay. Graham emptied four fire extinguishers.

By this time, multiple officers had arrived at the scene.

"Everyone of us, I'm sure, felt like the car was going to blow up at any moment. The tire blew, and you never saw five people jump so much in your life because we're all in there," Graham explained.

Police finally freed the vehicle, which was still on fire when multiple good Samaritans doused the flames.

Eventually, they freed the driver.

"He was just out of it. He was just out of it and they hurried him right over to the ambulance because it had just pulled up," Graham recalled.

A nearby citizen provided officers with the tow strap used to pull the car free.

The driver was taken to the hospital with burn injuries but his condition is not known.

Copyright 2019 WLS via CNN. All rights reserved.



 
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