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Monday, June 30, 2008

Unknown ID Tow Truck Driver Hero

Here's the Times-News story:
Two people were taken to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center with injuries Saturday after a sports utility vehicle turned sideways and exploded into flames on Idaho Highway 75 north of Ketchum.

The two were rescued at the scene by a witness in another vehicle, who acted quickly to remove the SUV's windshield and pull out both passengers along with their two dogs, according to a Ketchum Fire Department official.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Highway 75 near Eagle Creek. Ketchum Fire Department Capt. Tom Ancona said a GMC Yukon pulling a camping trailer made a sudden move to avoid hitting another vehicle. That led to a chain of events that almost turned deadly.

"Apparently the driver of the suburban made an evasive move to miss another vehicle," Ancona said. "When he did, the trailer lost control, slid sideways and when it rolled, it took the truck (sideways) with it."

The trailer was carrying four propane cylinders that began leaking, released all the propane and ignited.

"The ignition source for the fire was sparks and propane," said Ancona. "It basically burned the wheels off the vehicle for all intents and purposes. Everything was totaled."

Ancona said a witness driving a tow truck had pulled over after the crash, then acted quickly.

"There were two occupants in the SUV," Ancona said. "This guy driving by in a wrecker took the windshield out and (removed) them along with two dogs."

The two passengers were later taken by ambulance to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum and treated for injuries, Ancona said. Authorities had no names for the two hospitalized, nor had they identified the man in the tow truck.

"If they hadn't gotten out, it would have been ugly," Ancona added.

Fire crews responded with three engine companies, needing 1,500 gallons of water and three hours to clean up the road. A state transportation department dump truck and backhoe were used to clean up the wreckage.

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