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Florida bystanders pull driver from burning SUV

Posted at 5:10 AM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 05:44:08-04

(WESH/CNN) - A driver was rescued after his vehicle caught fire in Brevard County on Sunday.

Palm Bay police officers and several bystanders created a human chain to rescue the driver after the fiery crash.

Cellphone video captured the moment witnesses scrambled to help the driver after his sport utility vehicle careened off U.S. 1 down toward the Indian River and burst into flames. 

Several bystanders climbed down to the car, including bystander Tom Sais, who is seen at the back of the vehicle. 

Sais told WESH-TV he had to free the male driver from his seatbelt.

"I hit the (seatbelt) button, and he kind of fell on top of me and slammed to the passenger side and then I grabbed him and started pulling him, but he wrapped both arms around the seatbelt and he said leave me alone, he started yelling leave me alone leave me alone," said Sais.

Sais says for an unknown reason the driver did not want help and was combative. 

Two Palm Bay police officers who arrived hit the driver with a stun gun and handcuffed the driver in order to get him up the hill.

However, it was steep and bystanders came to help.

That prompted at least a half dozen men to form a human chain to help pull the victim to safety. 

Sais said he's glad he got to be part of such a touching act of courage and kindness.

"Strangers coming together for a common goal, saving a man's life.  It was beautiful, it was beautiful," said Sais.

Courtesy: WESH via CNN Newsource