IDOT worker saves 2 from burning car on Kennedy Expressway

Stephanie Wade Image
Friday, March 1, 2024
IDOT worker saves 2 women from burning car
An IDOT worker thought fast on his feet and rescued two people from a burning car.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An IDOT worker helped save two people after their car crashed and burst into flames Friday morning on the Kennedy Expressway.

"The whole car was filled with smoke," IDOT worker Steve Newcomb. "By the time I got them to the shoulder and everything and the fire came and pulled up, the whole car was in flames."

Newcomb was driving along the Kennedy for IDOT around 2 a.m., when a Toyota Camry heading inbound near Addison Street hit a wall and caught fire.

"I saw the flames and I moved up to push the car from underneath the bridge," Newcomb said. "And that's when I saw the people inside the car moving around."

He acted quickly pulling two women out of the car to safety, before state police and firefighters could get there.

"The woman in the driver seat was screaming, 'Help me! Help me! My legs are broken and I can't move.' So I picked her up, took her to the shoulder, and then I went back around to the passenger side and I got the passenger out."

Newcomb said he's never seen anything like this in his 22 years as a minuteman.

"I mean, I've seen tons of cars on fire, but I've never physically pulled anybody out of a burning car to this point," he said.

Too shy to call himself a hero, Newcomb said he was just grateful to help.

"I'm just doing my job," he said. "I would hope that's what everybody would do in that situation."

Both women were taken to a nearby hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to be okay.