Running from fire is the most natural reaction of every human being. However, five ‘heroes’ in Canada risked their own lives to save a driver from a burning car. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) now thanks the men for their courage.
In a video shared by the OPP Highway Safety Division, a large column of smoke can be seen on a highway in the Toronto area. The footage, captured on another vehicle’s dashcam, shows a pair of cars stopping on the road after seeing a white sedan crashing into a ditch near a freeway exit.
Video shows smoke billowing from the hood as the Good Samaritans desperately try to wake the driver by yelling “get out of the car.” While the men are initially spotted on the car doors and windows, they soon take action to try… break it open by hammer and stone. One of the men peeks through the back seat with his head, trying to assess the situation.
Within minutes, the video shows the fire starting at the steering wheel and the men struggling to pull the driver out through the window. The driver was rescued moments before the white sedan went up completely in flames. The video also contained footage of the charred car.
[Disclaimer: Disturbing content, viewers’ discretion is advised]
A 36-year-old Toronto man who experienced a medical episode is alive thanks to the heroic efforts of five men who risked their lives when the vehicle caught fire with the driver still inside. They got the driver’s door open to save the driver. You are mine #HERO† July 4 ’22 pic.twitter.com/bwE43tMhn1
— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) July 7, 2022
Police say the 36-year-old driver, who has not been identified, experienced a “medical episode” on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in Mississauga, west of Toronto. The police said that the driver was only alive due to the timely intervention of passers-by.
One of the men in the rescue operation, Ben Sykes, said: CTV News Toronto that he was traveling with his wife when he saw a man with a jack in his hand running towards the sedan and decided to join in too. “I was kind of like ‘Well, I have to help here’. And so I jumped out of the car and, you know, I did what I could to try and help right now,” he said.
“Luckily there was a guy in a dump truck, whoever that was, he threw a hammer out the window and I realized, okay, we need to get 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, related: CBC News it all happened too fast to consider their own safety. “There was no hesitation, it was fight or flight,” Lauar said. “If that was you, you’d want someone to save you.”
Sykes and Lauar were able to talk to the driver after the incident and he is doing well.