Good Samaritans rescue driver from burning van

A man is charged with drunk driving after being rescued from his burning van by a group of good Samaritans.
March 10, 2014 6:00:20 AM PDT
A man is charged with drunken driving after being rescued from his burning van by a group of Good Samaritans.

The crash involved that van and another car.

It happened just before 4 Sunday morning near Hollywood and Sheridan in the Edgewater neighborhood.

"We had to pull him out from the driver's side out the passenger side," said Matt Uliveri.

Uliveri talks about how he helped save the driver of a burning van, 43-year-old Eduardo Sandoval, just moments after a fiery crash.

"It was just like nothing I've ever seen in my life," he said. "It was a shock and awe kind of moment."

The accident involving a van and a car happened early Sunday morning on Chicago's North Side near the intersection of Hollywood and Sheridan Road.

"Witnesses say...burst into flames," .

The 27-year-old restaurant worker from the southwest suburbs was in a cab in the Edgewater neighborhood heading to a friend's birthday party and saw the whole thing.

"The guy came from the other lane and just didn't even stop and just t-boned the car real hard. they just tumbled like dominos," Uliveri said.

ABC7 Eyewitness News viewer Butch Franz captured video of the accident's fiery aftermath on his cellphone after Uliveri and about a half dozen other people rescued Sandoval from his burning van.

"We saw the car on fire. We just jumped on top of the car and pulled the guy out," Uliveri said. "It was just an unreal scene."

A 36-year-old man and a 43-year-old man were taken to an area hospital in fair to serious condition.

The crash is under investigation.

Sunday afternoon, friends are praising Uliveri for his selfless act.

"We always knew he was a great guy, but never once thought that he would on instinct risking his life to save somebody else," said Brandon Kuta.

In the meantime, Uliveri doesn't consider himself a hero.

"He couldn't help himself so we're just a bunch of good Samaritans doing what we had to do," he said.

Chicago Police now say Sandoval has been charged with two misdemeanors: driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.


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