Skip to content

Unexpected hero saves unconscious driver from burning vehicle moments before it explodes

Crime and accident journalist Austin Raishbrook saved a man's life off a Los Angeles freeway.

God was certainly present in the City of Angels when an unexpected hero dramatically pulled a man from his vehicle moments after it erupted in a ball of flames.

Photojournalist Austin Raishbrook rescued a driver from a burning SUV.

Photojournalist Austin Raishbrook rescued a driver from a burning SUV.

Highlights

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's not a Hollywood story and a man's life could have been lost in the horrific accident.

Videographer and television news cameraman Austin Raishbrook was working New Year's Eve and early New Year's morning.


He was on the 110 Freeway between Gage and Florence at roughly 3:30 a.m. after a night covering crime scenes and accidents with his camera, he told KTLA 5, when he noticed a stalled SUV in the fast lane.

Curious, he drove closer to the vehicle and turned on his emergency lights. He grabbed his camera and started filming the SUV.

"It was completely blacked out," Raishbrook told NBC 4. "Unfortunately, some of the drivers didn't see the vehicle. First, it was side-swiped by two vehicles and then it was rear-ended by a vehicle I estimate was going at least 65 miles per hour."

The crash sent the SUV into the center divider, where it caught fire. Raishbrook was recording the crash but went against his cameraman instincts and dropped the camera as soon as he saw the flames.

"I did'nt know if anyone was in the SUV because it was all dark, but I grabbed my fire extinguisher and flashlight and ran to the burning car," he explained.


"I smashed the passenger side window with my fire extinguisher and looked in but the car was naerly fully engulfed and it was hard to see through the smoke. Finally, I saw there was a man slumped over the steering wheel.

"So I ran to the driver's side and tried to smash that window but I couldn't do it," he said. "Finally, somehow I pried open the door and saw the man was strapped in with his seat belt. By then the smoke was so thick, I couldn't breathe too well."

Raishbrook stepped away from the SUV, took a deep breath of clean air and ran back into the smoke.

"I finally got his shoulder strap off and began yanking the man out," Raishbrook described. "It was pretty harrowing and there were a lot of split-second decisions I had to make, but I finally got him out of the SUV."

First responders arrived just as Raishbrook was pulling the driver from the vehicle.


"I didn't realize how close it was until one of the CHP officers told me my hair was singed from the fire," Raishbrook stated.

Paramedics rushed the unidentified man to a local hospital and was in critical condition for a time. Since then, Raishbrook announced the man is awake and responsive.

---

The California Network is the Next Wave in delivery of information and entertainment on pop culture, social trends, lifestyle, entertainment, news, politics and economics. We are hyper-focused on one audience, YOU, the connected generation. JOIN US AS WE REDEFINE AND REVOLUTIONIZE THE EVER-CHANGING MEDIA LANDSCAPE.


Comments


More U.S.

Could man who destroyed Ten Commandments monument be possessed? Watch

Image of Michael Reed, 32, has been diagnosed by doctors as having schizoaffective disorder.

A self-professed, born again evangelical Christian has demolished a monument to the Ten Commandments that had just been placed in front of ... continue reading


Deportations of Christian immigrants has temporarily stopped Watch

Image of Many of the detainees were Chaldean Christians, and members of the local Chaldean Church.

A district court judge on Thursday halted the deportation of more than 100 Iraqis, including many Chaldean Christians, who were recently ... continue reading


Undercover Planned Parenthood video creators cleared on 14 of 15 criminal charges Watch

Image of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the Senior Director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood, was featured in the very first Center for Medical Progress videos.

A California court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal charges against an undercover journalist behind the video expose of Planned ... continue reading


A Serial Killer's Last Words: The hidden motive behind Ted Bundy's horrific murders (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Watch

Image of Bundy admitted to committing 30 homicides of young women and girls in the 1970s, though he may have been guilty of many more.

Editor's note: The following content may be disturbing to some readers. Reader discretion is advised. Raiford, Florida (CNA) - He was one ... continue reading


Understanding the Loaves: We Can Build an Economy of Gift and Communion Together Watch

Image of The multiplication of the loaves reveals the way to building a new economic order

Perhaps, if Christians try to understand more about the loaves, we will be able to help structure an what I am calling an economy of gift ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.