Crashed Trucker Trapped Inside Burning Semi Saved in “Extraordinary” Rescue
Anaheim, CA – A trucker was rescued by police from his burning semi-truck after it struck a wall on the 5 Freeway in Anaheim and erupted into flames early Friday morning.
The crash occurred around 12:45 a.m. near Lincoln Avenue in the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the semi-truck ran through a guard rail, struck a list pole and slammed into the rig shoulder wall, underneath an overpass.
Upon impact, the semi erupted into flames, burning the Santa Ana Street overpass above.
The truck driver, identified only as a 43-year-old male from San Diego, was trapped inside the truck as the flames enveloped the cab.
Due to the driver’s injuries and his state of awareness, the driver was not able to self-extricate, said a CHP officer who was at the scene.
Once CHP officers realized the trucker was still inside the burning cab, they jumped into action and were able to fight off the flames long enough to cut the driver’s seat belt and pull him to safety.
The trucker was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and into surgery.
The extent of his injuries are unknown at this time.
Authorities say he was conscious as he was being rescued.
A CHP officer at the scene praised the rescue efforts, saying “officers did an extraordinary job in assisting that gentleman out of that vehicle before it went up in flames completely.”
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) September 13, 2019
The 6-lane northbound side of the freeway was condensed to “basically the carpool lane,” according to a KTLA reporter, who was on the scene around 5 a.m.
Officials said the overpass appeared to be alright after the fire, but the structural integrity is still being investigated.
Santa Ana Street remains closed as engineers study the bridge’s damages.
The truck was hauling boxes of produce, which were scattered throughout lanes of the 5 Freeway after the accident.
Authorities are investigating what caused the driver to lose control of the semi.
Photo courtesy CBS Los Angeles