Rudy Lanuza passed the wreck before officials arrived. Several people were calling for fire extinguishers and Lanuza, who had been traveling on the westbound side of the interstate, rushed to help.
“I was the one who got close to see if we could open the cab door, but there was no way we could get it open,” Lanuza told the AJC.
He was heartbroken and said he took the day off Thursday to speak with a counselor.
“It bothered me,” he said. “I called my boss crying. I didn’t go to work.”
Lanuza said he tried three times to use a chain to pull the door off Bartley’s semi-truck, but all he could do with his pickup truck was bend the frame. It wouldn’t open.
When the flames got too hot, Lanuza had to back away, he said.
Stone said when he and fire officials arrived, the cab was “fully involved” with fire and the front end of Bartley’s truck was crushed.
“His legs were pinned,” Stone said.
Officials later learned the box truck that collided with Bartley’s semi-truck was towing a mobile generator and the fuel from that generator ignited the fire.
The fuel tanks on both trucks were still full after the crash, Stone said.
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the crash.
Lanuza said he wants Bartley’s family to know he and other witnesses did everything they could.
“He was not alone,” Lanuza said.
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