Bystander rescues driver from burning car - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bystander rescues driver from burning car

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(Photo credit: Maury County Fire Department) (Photo credit: Maury County Fire Department)
(Photo credit: Maury County Fire Department) (Photo credit: Maury County Fire Department)
SANTA FE, TN (WSMV) -

A Maury County man is alive Tuesday night thanks to a stranger's quick thinking and good timing.

The driver of this car was knocked unconscious after hitting a tree early Tuesday in a crash around 6:45 a.m. on Raleigh Beard Road in the Bethel community.

Ahren Longo said he happened to be on the way to work when he saw the wreck. He was able to pull the driver out just minutes before the car burst into flames.

"In the period of about two minutes from where I got there and got him out, the car was engulfed in flames," said Longo. "If I had been there a minute later, there would have been no helping him."

"The car was totally in flames," said Mark Priest. "You can see all the way to the top of that tree. It burned it all the way to the top of the tree."

That was the scene Priest described that he woke up to this morning after a man crashed his car in his front yard.

"He came all the way down through here and then crossed the road," said Priest. "He just dead-center punched that tree. I don't see any brake marks, and skid marks at all."

The driver was unconscious, according to witnesses. The car was minutes from being engulfed in flames.

"I unbuckled his seatbelt and just grabbed him and drug him out," said Longo.

Fortunately for the driver, Longo was on his way to work when he came upon the wreck.

"By the time I got him out, it went up that quick," said Longo. "If it had taken me 30 seconds longer, it would have been a lot worse."

Longo stayed with the driver until emergency workers arrived. The driver was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"I think he saved the guy's life, ain't no doubt about it," said Priest.

"If I hadn't been there when I did at that right time, then there's no doubt in my mind he would have burned up in that car," said Longo. "God puts us in places for a reason."

The driver is listed in critical condition according to Vanderbilt.

Longo said the experience has inspired him to join the Maury County Volunteer Fire Department.

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