Bystanders pull man from burning truck that left turnpike, hit house

"Our units found the car fully involved," Hollywood Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Joel Medina said about the incident that responders were called to around 1 p.m. Thehome was also ablaze.

The crash caused the Ford F-150 pickup truck's driver, Tad Thomas of Port St. Lucie, to be taken with serious internal injuries to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida Highway Patrol and Hollywood officials said.

The driver was pulled by bystanders from the wreck that Medina said was so charred he could not immediately make out the manufacturer.

Evan Hanna, 20, lives on Eaton Street, across the street from the house that caught fire.

"I was on the computer when I heard a boom," said Hanna, 20. "I came outside and saw a truck that had hit the house across the street. The truck was totaled and was on fire, in the front and underneath."

Hanna said when he ran up to the truck, "I saw one passenger inside and tried to open the door, but it wouldn't open. So I went to the passenger side and that door wouldn't open, either."

By that time, Hanna said, he was joined by another driver who had left the turnpike to help at the scene.

"The passenger window was broken, so he helped me pull him through it," Hanna said about the other driver, who he said left as soon as he had rendered aid.

Hanna said that despite the broken window, "I was more worried about getting him out of the fire. He was awake. He didn't say anything. He tried to fight me and I was telling him I was trying to help."

Hanna said of the experience, "I feel good. It feels good to know I possibly helped save a life."

The fire at thehomeon the 6200 block of Eaton Street was quickly put out, Medina said.

City engineers will determine whether the home's structure is sound after the crash and fire, Medina said.

"We have no idea why he left the turnpike," Medina said of the pickup truck's exit that the official said happened three blocks south of Johnson Street, based on his analysis of skid marks.

Traffic on the turnpike near mile marker 49 was not affected.


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