Good Samaritan jumps into action after big crash in SE - KPTV - FOX 12

Good Samaritan pulls driver from burning truck after crash

Posted: Updated:
Cole Garrison Cole Garrison
MILWAUKIE, OR (KPTV) -

A serious crash shut down a major road in southeast Portland on Thursday morning.

The driver of one vehicle ended up in the hospital with serious injuries, but he might not have survived if a passing motorist had not stopped to help pull him from the burning pickup.

"Yeah it was pretty scary. Pretty wild to see," said Cole Garrison, who was on his way to work when he saw the crash happen right in front of him.

Garrison says it all happened around 5:15 a.m. as he approached the Sellwood Bridge on McLoughlin Boulevard.

That's when he says he noticed two pickups traveling at almost 80 mph.

"The two trucks in front of me were kind of racing for front position," said Garrison.

Within a few minutes, Garrison said he watched as one of the pickups tried to pass the other but didn't make it.

"He hit one truck he was trying to pass and clipped him in the front bumper. Then he hit the median, and when he was coming back he clipped a semi truck," added Garrison.

The one pickup soon caught fire and Garrison jumped into action, knowing the driver needed help.

"I ran up to it and he was already hanging out the door because the door basically fell off and his seatbelt was choking him in the neck," said Garrison.

He says the engine of the car was burning and the flames were quickly spreading.

"With a burning car I figured I probably had to get him out of there," said Garrison.

He says during the fire there were small explosions, but he didn't worry about his safety.

"I couldn't leave a dying guy next to a burning car. It wasn't until I got him on the ground and stuff started blowing up, that's when I had to drag him farther away where I felt safe," said Garrison.

A paramedic happened to be in the area and also stopped to perform first aid on the driver as firefighters arrived to put the fire out.

The crash tied up motorists traveling on McLoughlin for several hours.

Police shut down all northbound lanes and two southbound lanes as the CRASH team investigated.

TriMet buses experienced major delays as they were rerouted around the crash.

Meanwhile, the driver of the burning car was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Citations could be pending.

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