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Man pulled from burning car on I-5 in Tacoma

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 1, 2011 at 5:51 am with 15 Comments »
April 1, 2011 10:42 am
Courtesy of Joseph Lonergan

Three good Samaritans helped pulled a man out of a burning car that got hit on Interstate 5 in Tacoma on Thursday night.

The 39-year-old Auburn man was injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment, the Washington State Patrol reported.

No other injuries were reported.

The man’s car had been disabled. It didn’t have any lights on and was in a lane of northbound I-5 just south of South 56th Street, the Washington State Patrol reported.

A semi-truck struck the disabled car, pushing it up the embankment on the right shoulder. The car burst into flames.

The semi-truck went up the embankment about 50 yards away. The driver was not injured.

Three Samaritans stopped, got the man out of his seat belt and pulled him from the car.

The crash was under investigation.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. duke_of_hurl says:

    if the truck driver woulda noticed the car at the last second and swerved into another lane and struck a car or object it wouldve been the truck drivers happened to me once..which now leaves me with no choice but to apply brakes and stay in my lane until impact even if it may cause death..

  2. people drive to fast on that section of I-5……yes trucks to.

  3. Kudo’s to the three good Samaritans

  4. duke of hurl you would run into a person at a complete stop when given the chance to avoid the collision you must have nerves of steel. Human instinct for survival would surely overcome your disregard for other lives and force you to swerve away.

  5. I know the driver who hit that car and it was sitting in the middle of the lane lights off and it was impossible to see that car until you where right up on it. It was dark outside so anyone who would have been driving up to it would have been in the same situation this truck driver was in. Unfortunately he had a much larger vehicle to move out of the way to avoid hitting the car. He did try to avoid it but he ended up clipping it that’s what happened. I wish that people would keep their assumptions to themselves. You know what assuming does right?

    Also we should be glad it wasn’t a car that hit the disabled car. That person could have been killed at least the truck was big enough to keep the driver from getting hurt.

  6. donny253 says:

    Way to look out for OUR fellow man

  7. Istillknowalotmorethanyou says:

    It takes a lot of stones to get out of your car and help a stranger in a situation like that. Good job to those three men/women.

  8. I was south bouth on I-5 and seen the whole thing from a little bit away, Im not sure what could have been avoided or not. As I was getting turned around to get back North bound and see if anyone needed CPR and or pulled from the wreckage I seen a man at a full bore track sprint headed to the wreckage. I dont know who you are but if you read this I just wanted to say I hope that in my time of need there is someone like you around who thinks about their safety second and sprints to my aid. If you wont accept the title hero, then how about true inspiration. I am however glad that the man was able to be pulled from the car by those three people. It took me three minutes to get back to the wreck and it turned from a small fire to an engulfed car and I was mortified and praying everyone had gotten out ok.

  9. charlesh says:

    I was traveling in the right hand lane on I-5 and changed lanes to avoid the vehicle that was struck. The collision happened in the moments after I passed the black pickup.

    His hazard lights were on. The report in this article is incorrect.

    However, he was not visible until the vehicle in front of me did a quick swerve to avoid him (and then revealing his stalled vehicle to me).

    I was one of several on the scene to assist. I am not one of the people who pulled him from the wreckage.

  10. mom of 2 is the truck driver ok? The truck driver also did a great job of
    A) not tipping his truck over as it was going out of control and
    B) Not hitting several other cars on the road

    My dad is a truck driver so I know just how hard it is to keep them under control after something like this happens and he got it off the road in one peice up right…I would say he did a pretty good job not making this a worse situation.

  11. charlesh says:


    The semi driver was the first I was able to check on (i saw that others were already around the other who had been pulled to safety).

    He was okay, but shaken. He asked what happened (shock).

    I explained that there was a vehicle that was stalled and that if he had a car in front of him blocking the view of the hazards until it changed lanes then he would not have seen it until it was too late.

    When he found out that the person had been pulled from the wreckage and was alive, I have never seen a more complete shift in a face from stress/disbelief/scared to a complete look of relief.

    mom of 2, your friend had no chance to avoid that vehicle.

  12. skippythedog says:

    As a former gas tanker driver I can tell you this: If you swerve, you die and stand a chance of taking out innocent, uninvolved persons. “Nerves of steel,” one said was required to plow straight ahead to an imminent collision…..Not so, just mental conditioning. I was tested several time by large critters on the highway. Afterwards, I was pretty proud that I had not reacted the way most people would (swerving)…..This way, the person or thing that screwed up is the one that gets it via a (somewhat) controlled collision and stop. The truck driver did it right in this case even though it sounds like he didn’t even see it coming.

  13. wvcknights says:

    My brother in law was one of the guys who pulled the man from the car. From what i gathered he cut the seat belt off (with his military re-enlistment knife), and pulled the driver out of the truck. He is a Army ranger and just got back from afghanistan 1 week before this. We are very proud of him.

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