Daniel Arteaga was driving home with his parents when they noticed the SUV engulfed in flames and the driver trapped inside.
Photo: Boston25News.com
Photo: Boston25News.com

3 good Samaritans hailed as heroes after rushing to pull driver from burning SUV

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After crashing into a box truck on Eastern Avenue in Chelsea at around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, the SUV burst into flames.

Daniel Arteaga was driving home with his parents when they noticed the SUV engulfed in flames and the driver trapped inside.

It was a race against time for Arteaga and two other men who witnessed the situation and immediately jumped to help.

"He was completely covered in blood and was just saying that he was fine," said Arteaga. 

As Arteaga rushed to help the driver, his mother recorded the whole incident on her phone.

"Him and I just tried pulling on the door, trying to get him out, nothing was working," said Arteaga. "It was a little freaky because the fire was getting close to the windshield and the inside was black with smoke."

As he jumped into the backseat to pull the driver out, Arteaga himself almost ended up trapped in the fiery car.

"Once I got in the vehicle I tried to pull him through the backseat [but] that didn't work and as I was doing that the door shut, which freaked me out a little and it wouldn't open from the inside, so I busted the glass and I crawled out through the rear window," said Arteaga.

Eventually, they were able to pull the driver out of the car and bring him to safety.

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One of the good Samaritans had a medical background and was able to keep the driver stable until firefighters arrived.

"I think that what freaked me out the most is that everyone was yelling that the car was going to blow up," said Arteaga. "But seeing that guy not help himself I knew he wasn't going to get out of there on his own, so I knew I had to help him and the people that were there to get him out."

Police say the 36-year-old driver from Revere had injuries to his face and legs and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. He is expected to survive, all thanks to the men who were at the right place at the right time to save him.

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