Good Samaritans save driver who was trapped in burning semi

Published: May. 13, 2018 at 6:49 PM EDT
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Emergency officials responded to a massive semi-truck fire in Rockcastle County.

It happened just before 5 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 150 and Highway 70 near Brodhead.

The Brodhead Fire Department said one person was trapped inside the truck, but a good Samaritan

he pulled the truck driver from the vehicle. A witness said the truck driver is OK.

Rockcastle County resident Gary Mink pulled the driver from the burning truck hauling 8,000 gallons of gasoline.

"I said, 'you won't die here. We're not going to let that happen' and he said 'please don't and don't leave me'," said Mink.

Mink was the first person to find the man stuck on this side of the tanker, while the massive fire inched closer.

"The heat was tremendous. I mean, one time I had to go out, couldn't stand the heat anymore and was choking to death on the fumes, stayed out just a second, and come right back in," said Mink.

About four others also stopped to help, but despite their group effort, the driver's jammed leg just wouldn't budge.

"You're the most lucky, unlucky guy probably that has ever been. I said, within another minute or two minutes, I was going to amputate your leg because you was going to die in that truck," said Mink.

Mink was serious about getting the driver out of the truck and he was willing to improvise.

"Only thing I had, I had a good sharp pocket knife, and I was going to do whatever had to be done," said Mink.

Just before it was too late one of the good Samaritans reached into the truck and was able to pull the driver out.

Firefighters said the truck had diesel fuel in it that sparked the massive flames, but it's unclear what caused the crash.

Additional pictures from the gasoline tanker accident on Highway 150. Per Brodhead Fire Department, Hwy 150 is still closed and will remain closed for several more hours.

Posted by Mount Vernon Fire Department on Sunday, May 13, 2018

The driver's family reached out to Mink and Hamilton to thank them for saving his life, and leg.

"We've talked about maybe getting together sometime. Maybe after her dad gets out of the hospital. I'd like to meet her dad in a little better circumstance and talk to him. The one thing I told her was how brave he was," said Sam Hamilton, another good Samaritan who lives nearby.

Traffic was shut down on U.S. 150 between KY 70 in Rockcastle County and US 27 in Lincoln County.

Transportation officials said U.S. 150 is unsafe to drive on in its current condition after the roadway was damaged from the fire. Officials say they will get to work to repair the road as soon as the gas vapors dissipate. Repairs once started are estimated to take 8-10 hours.