Good Samaritans save woman from car fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Two brothers-in-law put themselves at risk to save a young woman trapped in a burning car Saturday morning.  The Good Samaritans were heading southbound on I-170 near the Midland overpass when they saw a northbound driver lose control of a Jeep Wrangler and veer across three lanes of traffic.  The vehicle went airborne and flipped over on its side trapping the driver.

"The real thing that caught my eye was when we saw it burst into flames and we saw if flipping over," said De'Angelo Blair who was riding to work with his brother-in-law Dannie Harris.  They stopped their car and raced across the interstate to find 21-year old Tiffany Colloton unconscious and trapped in her Jeep.

"It could have been your sister or your daughter or your grandbaby ..somebody had to do something," explained Harris.  ""My brother-in-law jumped in the vehicle.. I'm on top of the vehicle fighting the flames; we couldn't get the young lady to wake up."

The seat belt would not release so Blair used his utility knife to cut her free.   Harris said then, "We pulled her out and within seconds the car was just engulfed in fire."

Another driver who stopped, Elizabeth Rowlands called the men heroes along with a third man identified by police as Damon Shamburger who stopped to give aid. A woman who identified herself as a nurse pulled over at the accident scene as well.   Overland Police Chief Mike laws seconded the praise.  "By the time officers arrived on the scene the SUV was completely engulfed in flames," he said.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.  Colloton was hospitalized with a broken collarbone but no other serious injuries and no burns.

Harris and Blair went on to work at a construction site.  After work they came by DePaul Health Center to check on the young woman they had rescued.  Her mother met them in the lobby to thank them and give them hugs.

"It was someone in a bad predicament and we wanted to help someone out so God put everyone in a perfect spot at the perfect time so everything happens for a reason," said Blair.
Follow Betsey Bruce on Facebook and Twitter:
Betsey Bruce on Facebook
Betsey Bruce on Twitter
Betsey.Bruce@tvstl.com