Good Samaritans pull man from burning car in Aurora

Leah Hope Image
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Good Samaritans rescue man from burning car in Aurora
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Two good Samaritans rescued a man from a burning car in Aurora.

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- Two good Samaritans are being credited with saving a man from a burning car in Aurora, and the rescue was captured on police car dashcam video.

The single-car crash occurred at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1600-block of East New York Street, police said.

Jose Martinez, 58, who lives across the street from where the crash occurred pulled the 34-year-old man out of the car.

"Me and my wife had just got home," Martinez said. "We went inside the house and we heard a big bang."

Martinez was first on the scene. He said he couldn't just walk away.

"I opened the passenger door and he was slumped over on the passenger side so I pulled him out," he said.

Devin Johnson, 29, was driving by when he came to the driver's aid.

"I saw the crash," Johnson said. "That was the first thing I saw because he didn't have his lights on. So I just saw the car hit a concrete foundation. The car instantly smoked then I saw a flame so I called 911 and hit a U-turn."

Johnson helped pull the victim further away from the burning vehicle

"I just ran up and made sure he was far enough away because the car eventually did explode, so, yeah, it was pretty crazy," Johnson said.

Johnson said it was an adrenaline rush.

"I thought about it all day Sunday, wondering if he was OK," Johnson said.

As first responders arrived, police dashcam cameras captured the events unfold.

Two good Samaritans are being credited with pulling a man froma burning car last Saturday in Aurora.

The man pulled from the car was a 34-year-old from Warrenville. He was charged with DUI and several traffic offenses, police said. He was hospitalized after suffering burns and other non-life threatening injuries.

"I just hope he's well and hope he learned his lesson. Call a cab or Uber. He could have killed himself or somebody else," Martinez said.

In a Facebook post, Aurora police said: "To say Jose's actions were heroic and brave are an understatement. Had he not taken immediate action, the driver would not have lived. Devin should also be commended for assuring the man was out of harm's way. Outstanding job, gentlemen."

ABC7 could not reach the driver for comment, but he is due in Kane County court on April 16 for the misdemeanor charges.