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WATCH: Illinois DOT worker rescues 2 women from burning car on Chicago expressway

CHICAGO (WGN) – A worker with the Illinois Department of Transportation rescued two women from a burning car on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago early on Friday morning.

Illinois State Police said the car, a Toyota Camry, struck a concrete median near I-90 southbound around 2 a.m. The vehicle then spun out and caught fire in the middle of the expressway.

Steve Newcomb, a minuteman with the Illinois DOT, was on patrol at the time and noticed several cars pulled over on the shoulder of the expressway. He turned around to investigate and saw the Camry on fire.

He wasn’t initially aware the vehicle was still occupied.

“I saw the car go up in flames, so being that it was under the bridge, I wanted to push the car out of the way so the flames didn’t damage the bridge,” Newcomb told Nexstar’s WGN. “And then I see people moving inside [the car]. With everybody standing on the shoulder, I’m like, ‘Why are there still people in a burning car?'”

Once out of his truck, Newcomb said he heard a woman screaming for help.

WGN photographer Tremaine Williams, who was on his way to work at the time, managed to capture footage of Newcomb pulling the women to safety.

“I felt bad, but she was in pain,” he said of the driver. “I grabbed her and brought her to my shoulders as gently as I could.”

The second woman, he said, didn’t initially appear responsive.

“The one in the passenger seat was not [responsive] at first, but I pounded on the window and got her to unlock the window to get her out,” Newcomb said.

burning car (WGN)
A worker with the Illinois Department of Transportation rescued two women from a burning car on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago early on Friday morning. (WGN)

The women, ages 18 and 19, were transported to the Masonic Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

“I don’t know what would have happened with a couple more minutes in that smoke,” he said.

Newcomb added that this was the first time he had to pull people out of a burning car in his 22 years with the Illinois DOT.

“I just feel like I was doing my job, that’s all,” he told WGN. “It’s no different than somebody broke down on the side of the highway. I’d get them off the highway so they’re safe, and I pulled [the women] out of the car so they were safe.”


Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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