Last Monday, a Lincoln Towncar carrying a woman and her one-year-old granddaughter T-boned an 18-wheeler after attempting to merge. The huge resulting crash, massive explosion, and raging inferno is the trifecta of horror for any driver. Or, at least it would be, if not for one heroic truck driver.
David Fredericksen, the trucker recording the video on his dashcam, immediately jumped out to save the occupants inside the car, as his son explained in the video description:
A car t-bones a semi truck on I10 near Biloxi, Mississippi. The car struck the fuel tank of the semi causing a large fire ball. The doors of the car were jammed shut and the driver suffering a broken leg could not exit the vehicle.
Luckily my father had a fire extinguisher on hand to fight back the flames and give enough time to pull the driver and her 1 year old granddaughter out of the flaming vehicle. Once the passengers are free from the vehicle the flames rapidly grow in strength consuming the vehicle.
Thankfully my father had the presence of mind, bravery, and forethought of carrying a fire extinguisher, to be the first person on scene to risk his own life in order to possibly save another and to inspire others and lead them into taking action. Everyone involved in the rescue effort is a hero in my books.
Everyone involved managed to survive, though the grandmother involved did receive a broken leg for her troubles. But seriously, this explosion was ridiculously humongous, and it's amazing that anyone survived, let alone without serious injury:
Speaking to David on the phone, it's clear that this is not an every day occurrence for most truckers. He bought the dashcam six months before, after watching another truck roll after its driver fell asleep. This accident was much different, but he doesn't feel like he was the only one out there last week.
"I don't feel it's heroic," he said. "Really what I feel is when I first got out of the truck, I was praying that they wouldn't be dead. I just wanted to put the fire out, but when I saw they were alive, I was like "SWEET!"
But even then, it was incredible to see that not only had the occupants of the Towncar survived, but that they were fighting to get out as David and others rushed to help them.
"I was praying to myself. I really didn't want to have to see somebody dead," he added. Other people would've done what I did."
As he approached the Lincoln, he saw the driver desperately trying to kick out the door, despite her broken leg. David, who is not a small guy, yanked open the door, only to find the baby girl in the back seat. Her carseat had actually been launched from one side of the car to the other, which miraculously also cleared her from the immediate danger of the flames.
His co-driver, who jumped out after him, grabbed the girl from the seat after David pulled her out.
"She was the cutest little thing, too," he said. "She was hugging him so tight she was choking him."
"I'm just glad that they didn't die, you know?"
Even still, David said that he himself isn't entirely sure what motivated to get him out of his truck before anyone else:
I trusted in God when I went there. It could've blown up and killed me. He's got a plan for me, because after I got back to the truck my hands were shaking. My actions were because of my love for God and love for people. Because it does make a difference. If anyone learns anything from it, I want them to know, if they see these trucks out there, they're not bad people with aggressive drivers.
They're good people.
And David's right. If you ever need an argument for why truckers are good people, you've got plenty of evidence right here.