Man pulled from burning car by bystanders


RIVERSIDE – A Riverside man was spared a fiery death after good samaritans rushed to pull him from his burning vehicle following a crash, Riverside Fire Department officials said Tuesday.

The wreck happened about 1 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Alessandro Boulevard and Mission Grove Parkway, according to Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst.

He said that the motorist apparently lost control and plowed into a palm tree, triggering a blaze in the engine compartment that quickly spread to the rest of the four-door sedan.

Four people came to the unconscious victim’s aid, removing him from the vehicle as flames intensified, according to Vanderhorst.

“Quick actions by the bystanders prevented further injury to the victim,” the battalion chief said.

He said the flames consumed the car and palm tree and jumped to surrounding vegetation adjacent to the Western Municipal Water District’s “water efficiency garden.”

Fire crews contained the blaze within 15 minutes.

The victim was taken to Riverside Community Hospital for treatment of major injuries.

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