Good Samaritans and a cop pulled an allegedly drunken man from his car just before it burst into flames in San Francisco’s South of Market district early Monday.
The 35-year-old man had been driving eastbound on Folsom Street around 1:30 a.m. when his car struck a center median at 13th Street and smashed into a light pole and traffic light, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
Witnesses looked on in horror as the vehicle caught fire. While one witness called 911, others rushed to the man’s rescue. Reporting from the scene, KTVU said a cab driver and several other selfless citizens used a toppled street sign to smash one of the car’s windows.
When cops arrived, at least one of the citizens was still braving the raging “fireball” trying to save the victim, who was unconscious and strapped in his seatbelt, Esparza said. A cop cut the victim’s seatbelt and helped the good Samaritan pull the man from the car.
The witness suffered minor injuries to his hand, Esparza said. The driver of the car suffered back injuries, facial lacerations and other injuries and is expected to survive.
Once he is discharged from the hospital, the driver will be booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Esparza said.
The driver would have perished in the blazing car if not for the heroics, San Francisco police Capt. John J. Fenney told KTVU.