BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Good Samaritans helped rescue a driver from his burning vehicle in Northwest Bakersfield Monday morning after he crashed into a parked semi-truck.
Around 7 a.m. Monday neighbors came out of their house at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Old Farm Road and saw a man who was trapped inside his burning car. The neighbors wasted no time and began throwing water on the car in an effort to save the young man's life.
"The driver received major injuries from the impact, but his life was saved by several neighbors in the area," said Sergeant Richard Pierce with the Bakersfield CHP.
When a red Kia Forte crashed into an empty parked semi-truck and then caught on fire leaving the driver trapped inside the vehicle neighbors ran to a nearby backyard to fill up buckets of water and even used bottles of water and a water hose to help extinguish the flames. On video shot by one of the neighbors, others could be heard yelling for the driver to hang on and stay with them until help could arrive.
Sgt. Pierce says the Forte was speeding down the southbound side of the road near the intersection of Old Farm and Palm in Northwest Bakersfield when the vehicle crashed into the semi-truck. The driver became trapped and the front cabin compartment caught fire.
"At this time, it's believed that either he was distracted, fell asleep, or possibly under the influence," said Sgt. Pierce. "We had several motorists stop and neighbors come out and start firefighting and tried to put the fire out. They just didn't have enough water to put the fire out. But they were able to beat the flames back."
Firefighters arrived and worked fast to get the driver out of the burning vehicle.
Officials say the driver is a 17-year-old man. It's unknown what caused the driver to cross lanes and crash into the semi but was is known is good Samaritans in the area helped save the man from the fiery wreck. Which Sgt. Pierce says helped save the driver's life.
"We're not just talking about saving a life and putting out a fire. Vehicles explode. Gas tanks explode. People put themselves in a dangerous place to attempt to save this man's life. It's pretty heroic."
VIDEO SHOWS NEIGHBORS TRYING TO EXTINGUISH CAR FIRE:
There are still no updates on the condition of the driver. Officials say he did suffer major life-threatening injuries and he is still in the hospital. Sgt. Pierce said that if it wasn't for people stopping to help it could have been much worse.
LIVE INTERVIEW WITH NEIGHBORS:
11 PM UPDATE WITH KRISTIN VARTAN: