Witnesses powerless as car goes up in flames
WESTBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- A car collided with a utility pole in Westboro, taking down a power line and trapping the driver inside. Witnesses said that while he was stuck in the car, they were powerless to help.
The driver was trapped in a car wrapped in live wires, and as neighbors watched the car slowly caught on fire.
“When it first happened it was more smoldering, the car started burning and then, when the tires caught, that’s really when the car started to get engulfed,” said Daniel King, who caught it all on camera.
“The rest of the pole was hanging by the wire and it was sheered in half,” said King.
Other witnesses on West Street in Westboro tried to calm the terrified driver.
“His window was rolled up but everyone was screaming at him shut the car off! Don't get out. Because we're all very concerned about his safety,” said King.
Westboro firefighters called to the scene worked to get the power off before pulling the man to safety.
The car's collision with the pole knocked out power to the neighborhood but the downed lines crossing the car kept fire crews from reaching the driver faster.
“We were in contact with National Grid to see if they could isolate power down on vehicle. They were able to do it. In the emergency situation they powered down the area,” said Lt. Kevin Farrar of the Westboro Fire Department.
Witnesses said crews fought the flames and managed to get the driver out through the back door of his car.
“You want to help the poor individual but you can't.”
The Fire Department said there were several witnesses who called 911, but with a live wire wrapped around the car, there was little bystanders could do to help.
In similar situations, firefighters said someone trapped inside a car doesn't have many options either.
“Until they're absolutely sure the power is off they'd probably be best to stay in their vehicle until they receive instruction from emergency personnel,” said Farrar.
The driver that crashed into the utility pole was taken to UMass Medical Center. Firefighters said he was in serious condition.