Good Samaritans rescue seniors from burning crash on Tennessee highway


BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (NewsNation Now) — Half a dozen good Samaritans came to the aid of a senior couple after their van crashed into a cement dividing wall in Tennessee.

The incident happened around noon Thursday when the van hit the wall on Interstate 65 near the Brentwood-Nashville line at full speed.

The van’s front end was wedged into the cement wall but the back tires continued to rapidly spin, churning up shredded rubber. The tires created enough heat which caused the vehicle to catch fire.

With white smoke rapidly filling the highway, multiple motorists pulled over to make their way across four lanes of traffic to assist the passengers.

Witness Amani Kelly was one of the first on the scene reported NewsNation affiliate WKRN.

“Then I saw this vehicle on fire, around the tire area. A few men ran over and got the woman out of the vehicle. Then, we realized there was a man in the van as well,” said Kelly.

Anothe witness, Kyle Tortorelli, dashed across the interstate, holding up his hands, stopping traffic as he approached the smoldering van with the two senior citizens.

“It was scary. I was hoping traffic would stop. I saw wheels spinning. I ran across four lanes of traffic to turn the engine off. I got to the keys. It was blowing smoke. He was passed out cold inside,” said Tortorelli.

After about two minutes, half a dozen citizens were standing around the van. Some motorists have suppressed the fire with extinguishers. Meanwhile, other citizens worked as a unit to carry the driver from the smoldering van with Ohio plates.

Kelly said he was proud of his fellow good samaritans for rushing to the seniors’ aid.

“Yes, absolutely. It was not a second guess on my part or anyone else’s part. It was good to see everyone come together,” said Kelly.

Emergency room physician, Dr. Chris Andershock, also came upon the crash moments after it happened. Andershock assisted the unconscious driver in the van, carrying him across the interstate to the side of the road where he could safely assess his situation.

“Single car accident are usually medical issues. He passed out. He has no recollection of the event,” said Dr. Andershock.

“I knew we had to get in there and save someone’s life,” Tortorelli said.

The driver and passenger were alert enough to sit up on their own and chat with their bevy of good Samaritans that helped them in their time of need.

“It touched my heart. The same thing happened to my grandparents years ago. So it really did touch my heart,” said Kelly.

“I’m glad everyone did stop so we could assist them and get them the care they need,” said Tortorelli.

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