‘It happened so fast’: After crash, good Samaritans rescue woman before SUV bursts into flames in Hamilton County

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) said a woman has a fighting chance for survival thanks to the actions of strangers that came to her rescue after a crash.

The sheriff’s office said it occurred just after 10 a.m. Wednesday in the area of State Road 38 and Prairie Baptist Road near Noblesville.

According to the HCSO, preliminary investigation showed a 20-year-old woman traveling northbound on Prairie Baptist Rd. failed to yield to the right of way of a semi-trailer traveling westbound on SR-38, when the crash occurred near the intersection.

“When they [officers] arrived, the vehicle was on fire,” said HCSO Captain, Mike Bowen. “We learned that some good Samaritans had stopped to help the driver of the passenger vehicle that was in the crash and were able to pull her free from the vehicle before it actually became engulfed in flames.”

According to police, the victim was transported to an area hospital. Her condition is not known at this time.

“We can’t say enough about those folks that stopped and helped and hopefully prevented a bad situation from becoming worse,” said Bowen.

“We’re hopeful that she’ll make a full recovery, especially thanks to the help of those good Samaritans that stopped to get her out of the car,” he continued.

One of the people who stopped to help is Andre Coleman, who said he was working at the time and driving a dump truck for D Transport, Inc., when he came across the crash.

“When I pulled up the wreck had just happened,” said Coleman. “At that time, we didn’t know the car was on fire.”

Coleman said he pulled over at the same time as another man and they quickly realized that there was a small fire.

“Myself and I want to say two other drivers, we used our fire extinguishers, and we extinguished the flames enough to get her out,” said Coleman. “She was badly hurt.”

Coleman said time wasn’t on their side and they knew they needed to act fast before the situation worsened.

“We got her out just in time and within a minute of getting her out and getting her on the ground, I’m saying, the car went back up in flames,” he explained. “If the people hadn’t stopped, who stopped to help her, another two minutes the scene probably would be totally different. It happened so fast.”

He said other drivers of passing vehicles, including several more trucks from his company, pulled over to offer help.

“The flames had overtaken the car. Luckily, again, she was out,” he said.

Coleman said he couldn’t get what happened off his mind all day. He drove by the scene of the accident several times in hopes of learning whether the woman was doing okay.

“I’ve got daughters and I mean when I saw her — after I went back to work — I mean I’ve been going by here with tears in my eyes thinking about her and what it would’ve been if it was one of my girls,” he said. “What we did to get her out, I mean, I’d hope somebody would do that if it was one of my girls.”

“It was a bad situation a bad accident. I hope the young lady’s okay,” Coleman said. “I mean her whole life’s ahead of her.”

He hopes the woman will make a full recovery and is thankful for the other drivers who also didn’t hesitate to run over and help.

“Nobody thought twice about helping her. I mean she was in a bad situation and we were the only ones there to help her,” he said.

The driver of the semi was evaluated on scene by medics, according to the HCSO, and was released. He was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Other agencies, including the Noblesville Fire Department and the Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department of Hamilton County.

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