Good Samaritans rescue woman from fiery crash in Prairie Grove: 'Right place at the right time'

Rescued driver was "driving aggressively and attempting to pass multiple cars" when she lost control, police say

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Eric Horng WLS logo
Friday, May 10, 2024
Good Samaritans rescue woman from fiery crash in north suburbs
Good Samaritans saved a woman from a fiery crash after a McHenry County crash Tuesday in Prairie Grove on East Route 176, police said.

PRAIRIE GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- Good Samaritans saved a woman from a fiery crash after a crash Tuesday in the north suburbs.

The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. on East Route 176 in Prairie Grove, police said.

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A woman in her 50s was driving aggressively and attempting to pass multiple cars when she lost control and crashed into another vehicle and left the roadway, witnesses told police.

The woman's car struck a tree and caught on fire in the 4300 block of Route 176, police said.

Walter Flores of Oakwood Hills was passing by at the time when he saw a car come to a rolling stop with flames shooting out the front.

"There was fire coming out of the engine. The front of the car was obviously banged up, and we saw smoke," he said.

Flores and a driver from another vehicle got out to help the woman behind the wheel.

"And then we started to hear popping, and we kind knew that, okay, this car is probably going to explode soon or things are going to start to explode," Flores said.

Flores said the driver managed to crawl out of the wreckage but then collapsed next to her car, unable to move further. So he and the other man pulled her to safety moments before the car was fully engulfed in flames.

"To see it go up in flames the way it did was quite shocking," said Flores.

Flores, who served in the Marines, said his son watched from his car while other drives sped past. He hopes he learned an important lesson about helping others.

"One thing I always try to teach my son, and his name is Ethan, is that you always want to do the right thing," he said. "I've always told him the same thing that we learn in the Marines. You try to help those that can't help themselves."

The other driver involved in the crash has minor injuries, police said.