Fel­low driv­ers res­cue man from flam­ing rollover wreck

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Clau­dia Grisales

A morn­ing crash that trig­gered a back­log of traf­fic for South Austin com­muters Fri­day drew plenty of he­roes to the scene af­ter a man lost con­trol of his pickup, ac­cord­ing to wit­ness re­ports.

Other mo­torists stopped and pulled the driver, a man in his 50s, out of the truck and put out a fire in the en­gine com­part­ment, wit­nesses said.

Ja­son An­drade, a sales di­rec­tor for the high­tech ser­vices firm Bull­dog So­lu­tions, said he was head­ing to his job when he looked in his rearview mir­ror and saw the pickup be­gin swerv­ing across the lanes be­hind him.

A tire had blown out, and the truck crossed sev­eral lanes of traf­fic and ran into a wall be­fore land­ing on its side and slid­ing sev­eral more feet,

An­drade said.

“It was amaz­ing to watch that un­fold in my rearview mir­ror. When I looked up, I saw the (rear driver’s side tire) start­ing to shred and him start­ing to swerve,” said An­drade, a 36-year-old na­tive Aus­ti­nite. “It was amaz­ing no one else hit him.”

Soon af­ter, a fire broke out un­der the hood, he said.

That’s when An­drade put his own ve­hi­cle in re­verse and went to as­sist an­other wit­ness, who had pulled up be­hind the pickup, to get the driver out, he said. A woman pulled over and called 911, he said.

An­drade and an­other man got the driver out through the back win­dow of the pickup, An­drade said. The driver ap­peared to have been in a seat belt, An­drade said, but was dis­ori­ented, had blood on his

‘It was amaz­ing to watch that un­fold in my rearview mir­ror. When I looked up, I saw the (rear driver’s side tire) start­ing to shred and him start­ing to swerve. It was amaz­ing no one else hit him.’

Ja­son an­drade Austin com­muter who helped

an­other driver to safety af­ter a truck crash Fri­day

face and com­plained of back pain.

“I said, ‘We have to get you away from this car,’” An­drade said.

The two men then car­ried the driver about 20 feet away from the pickup, he said.

A man driv­ing a de­liv­ery truck for Ri­coh USA copiers also pulled over and brought a fire ex­tin­guisher, said An­drade, who used it to put out the fire in the truck’s en­gine.

It all hap­pened so fast, An­drade said, and min­utes later emer­gency per­son­nel ar­rived.

By then, said Austin-Travis County Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices Di­vi­sion Chief James Haw­ley, the fire “was put out, and the driver and the by­standers were on the side of the road.”

“It does look like a lot of by­standers were as­sist­ing,” Haw­ley said.

The driver, whose name was not re­leased, suf­fered in­juries that were not life-threat­en­ing and was taken to Uni­ver­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter Brack­en­ridge, Haw­ley said.

The crash shut down all but one north­bound lane of MoPac Boule­vard (Loop 1) near Bee Cave Road (RM 2244) for about two hours un­til 11 a.m. Fri­day, caus­ing ex­ten­sive traf­fic de­lays.

Like many of the com­muters held up by the crash, An­drade headed on to his job after­ward.

He ar­rived flushed and with blood on his shirt, said Craig Lakey, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for Bull­dog So­lu­tions.

“It’s not sur­pris­ing be­cause that’s the kind of thing he would do,” Lakey said. “But it’s also shock­ing be­cause it’s an amaz­ing thing to do.

“He’s the kind of guy that al­ways has a smile on his face. It was a pretty amaz­ing story. And he still showed up to work. He’s our lit­tle, lo­cal hero.”

Thao Nguyen

Ja­son An­drade of Austin was go­ing to work Fri­day morn­ing when he saw a pickup swerve across MoPac Boule­vard (Loop 1). An­drade said he and an­other man pulled the driver to safety.

A blown tire was blamed for this one-ve­hi­cle wreck, which tied up north­bound traf­fic on MoPac Boule­vard in South Austin for two hours Fri­day morn­ing.

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