Trooper, NH governor save driver from burning car
ANDOVER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A driver trapped in his burning car was saved when a quick-thinking state trooper and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch jumped into action.
State trooper Scott Frye was escorting Governor John Lynch and his wife on I93 North in Andover, Sunday when the three spotted what witnesses call a “road rage” incident.
The wreck sent one car off the road, bursting into flames.
The group stopped to help, with the governor calling 911. An off-duty Manchester firefighter also showed up on scene to offer assistance.
"A big plume of fire and smoke broke," said Keith Knight, Manchester, NH Fire Department. "[The driver] was moaning and I told him several times, 'You've got to give me a hand, trying to get you out here,' 'cause his left leg was pinned between the steering wheel and the driver-side door."
"I said, 'We've got to get this guy out of here as fast as we can,' so we kind of went back and forth and took turns trying to get the guy out," said Knight.
The state trooper grabbed a fire extinguisher from his trunk. With the help of the off-duty firefighter, he went in through the front windshield -- risking his life -- to free the man's stuck legs. He was able to pull the driver from out of the burning car just seconds before it was completely engulfed in flames.
On Monday, Governor Lynch telephoned Knight himself, and called his own security detail courageous and brave.
"So, they saved somebody's life, and they're both real heroes," Governor Lynch said.
The driver was pulled to safety after a tire exploded from the heat.
The trooper was able to move the driver's seat back an inch. Knight said he and the trooper "both grabbed each arm and pulled the guy -- took us about four or five times before we were able to pull him out of the vehicle. If he had been there another minute or two, it may have been a different outcome.
The 61-year-old driver suffered a punctured lung, fractured ribs and a dislocated arm.
The trooper was taken to the hospital for smoke and chemical inhalation. He's since been released, and is expected to be fine.
Massachusetts State Police say they are looking for a red pickup truck they believe to be involved in the road rage incident. They also say the driver has been issued a warning for lane violations and could face charges by the time the investigation is over.