Fellow drivers rescue man from flaming rollover wreck
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,
“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.”
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.