Running away from fire is the most natural response for any human being. However, five “heroes” in Canada risked their own lives to rescue a driver from a burning car. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is now thanking the men for their bravery.
In a video shared by the OPP Highway Safety Division, a big column of smoke is seen on a Toronto-area highway. The footage captured on a dashcam of another vehicle shows a few cars stopping on the road after spotting a white sedan that crashed into a ditch near a highway exit.
Video shows smoke coming out of the bonnet as the good Samaritans are seen desperately trying to wake up the driver by screaming “get out of the car”. While at first the men are seen banging on the car doors and windows, they soon take action trying to break it open by hammer and stone. One of the men is seen peeking his head through the back seat trying to assess the situation.
Within minutes, the video cuts to show fire starting near the wheel and the men struggling to pull the driver out through the window. The driver was rescued just moments before the white sedan was totally engulfed in flames. The video also included images of the charred car.
[Disclaimer: Disturbing content, viewers’ discretion is advised]
According to the police, the 36-year-old driver, who has not been identified, experienced a “medical episode” while on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in Mississauga, west of Toronto. The police informed that it was only because of the timely action of the passersby that the driver was alive.
One of the men in the rescue operation, Ben Sykes, told CTV News Toronto that he was travelling with his wife when he saw a man with a jack in his hand rushing towards the sedan and decided to join in as well. “I sort of felt like ‘Well, I got to help here’. And so, I jumped out of the car and, you know, just did what I could to try and help at the moment,” he said.
“Thankfully there was a guy in a dump truck, whoever that was, he threw a hammer out the window and I realized, okay, we gotta grab this thing,” Sykes added. Thanks to that hammer, they were able to break the window in the “nick of time” and save the man.
Fabricio Lauar, who was with Sykes, told CBC News it all happened too quickly for them to take their own safety into account. “There was no hesitation, it was fight or flight,” Lauar said. “If that was you, you’d want someone to save you.”
After the incident, Sykes and Lauar managed to speak with the driver and he is doing well.