An East Texas good Samaritan tells of how he jumped into action, pulling a driver out of a burning truck.The driver is still hospitalized, but is recovering after the rescue.
On Saturday night, Longview police say the driver was speeding through a turn lane and hit a light pole on Loop 281, causing his truck to catch fire.
29-year-old Trey Battaglia looks at the pictures now and realizes how close it really was.
"All I saw was flames and my first reaction was I had to help. The car was on fire on impact, so I knew the clock was ticking; there wasn't a whole lot of time. Other people were trying to extinguish the fire with fire extinguishers, but nobody could get the windows open," he says.
A former National Guardsman, he was driving by the Loop on Saturday night when he saw the accident, and saw that there was no fire or police on scene.
Faith motivated Battaglia to smash through the driver’s window.
"Fire was spreading underneath the vehicle and into the cab with him still in it. I just started saying my prayers and it broke on the last swing, and I stuck my hand in and opened the door and got him out," Battaglia says.
Battalgia says he knew the driver had only seconds before he himself was engulfed in flames.
"He was already on borrowed time," he says.
He pulled the driver out of the truck as the victim's legs were catching fire.
"I was starting to worry for my own safety, but it wasn't an option to give up. I checked his pulse he was still alive," Trey says.
He believes he was at that intersection for a reason.
"I'd want someone to hang in there for me, so I hung in there for him. I tapped him on the chest and said 'Tell your mom Happy Mother's Day tomorrow," he says.
Battaglia tells us that he hopes to meet the man he saved after he recovers.
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