Alabama-based trucker recognized for pulling motorist from burning car

Jared FlachJared Flach

Jared Flach, a truck driver out of Theodore, Alabama, for Groendyke Transport, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for pulling a trapped motorist from a burning car and helping an unconscious driver near the scene of an accident.

Around 2 a.m. on Nov. 4, Flach was heading east in Pensacola, Florida, when he saw a car on fire in the middle of I-10. He stopped his truck a safe distance from the scene, jumped out of his cab and asked bystanders what happened. He found out an eastbound car had struck the rear of a tractor-trailer, spun around and was facing oncoming traffic.

“People were afraid to approach the car because there was a fire underneath the hood and they were afraid of an explosion,” Flach said.

He noticed someone was still inside the car, so he approached and found a driver conscious and in pain trapped by the steering wheel that was jammed between the man’s ribs and belt. He then ran back to his truck and grabbed his fire extinguisher to knock the flames back. Another bystander brought another extinguisher to help battle the flames to help the driver.

Flach knew the man likely had broken ribs and legs, but he had to get him out of the burning car. Another driver helped him pull the man from the car as flames broke through the firewall into the cabin of the car. They got the man safely away from the scene, then ran back to make sure nobody else was in the car and noticed a woman lying outside the car.

“We didn’t know if she got out on her own or if she’d been ejected,” Flach said. “She wasn’t very responsive.”

The two men then moved her away from the burning car and waited for emergency personnel to arrive.

Flach was a firefighter and EMT before he was a trucker, so his training helped his instincts kick in to rush in and help the two motorists.

For his willingness to help, TCA presented Flach with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. Groendyke Transport also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. The Highway Angel program is sponsored by EpicVue.