SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) – According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 30 vehicles catch fire every hour in the United States.
That happened this past week to a 49-year-old Chapel Hill man who crashed his pickup truck that caught fire.
The crash happened mid-day last week on I-65 South in Spring Hill. A crash report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the truck veered suddenly off the roadway and into a rock embankment before rolling over onto its tires. There were no exits in the area, so it took first responders a few minutes to arrive.
In the meantime, good samaritans who watched it happen stopped to help.
They tried to pull the driver out of the burning 2012 Chevrolet pickup truck, but because of the damage, the driver was pinned.
Instead, they used multiple fire extinguishers to knock back the flames.
News 2 obtained body camera footage from Spring Hill Officer Mary Beth Lovett as she arrived on scene a few minutes later.
At one point, Lovett covered the driver’s face to protect him from fire extinguisher dust.
A truck driver who witnesses the crash describes what he saw to SHPD.
“I was in the right lane and he passed me on the left and about 100 yards in front of me, he just turned right,” the driver said.
As the pinned driver’s nerves were running high, Lovett did her best to reassure and comfort him.
“My name is Beth, okay? I’m right here with you,” Lovett said.
When EMS personnel arrived on scene to take over, a fellow first responder was overheard praising Lovett for her actions.
“You are a rock star, Beth,” the first responder said.
Lt. Mike Foster with the Spring Hill Police Department said without the other motorists stopping to help, this would have been a much different situation.
“It happened in a pretty remote area on the interstate. It took us a while to get there. Traffic was backed up for mile, so we are not getting there quickly. So the fire could have spread and engulfed the whole vehicle, and then we are working a fatality. The gentleman is very fortunate those people did stop and we thank them,” Foster said.
At this time, the condition of the driver is still unknown.