• Lynda Cohen

Man rescued from fiery expressway crash

Updated: Apr 5

The vehicle is seen engulfed in flames. It is not clear who the man in the photo is. (Photo by Lisa Carter)

"There was no hesitation" as people rushed to rescue a man from his burning vehicle Saturday afternoon, a witness told BreakingAC. Don Morgan was driving east on the Atlantic City Expressway when he saw what appeared to be an SUV on its roof and engulfed in flames. As he got out of his car, there already were three people surrounding the vehicle. Inside, was an EMT working to save the trapped man, Morgan said. EMT Jason Frederick usually works out of Exceptional Medical Transportation’s Berlin office. But he and partner, EMT Nicole Gardner Kratz, were heading back from testing in Atlantic City when they saw a vehicle on its roof on the other side of the expressway. That’s when they went into action. Kratz tried to use their extinguisher on the flames, but “it was just too much,” Frederick said. The front door was jammed shut so Frederick — a former Lindenwold firefighter — climbed in the back door and got to work untangling the unconscious driver. The seat belt had broken off the door frame and the man’s feet were under the dashboard. “It wasn’t fun, I’ll tell you that,” Frederick said of the heat inside. But he was able to get the man out and to Kratz and others who had stopped to help. “He took full control of the situation,” Morgan said. “(Frederick) was yelling out instructions to all of us that were there, making sure everything was done to get this guy out and get him out safely.” Once out, the EMTs worked on the driver as Morgan made sure no passing vehicles came into the area. “If that guy survives, he’s got that EMT to thank,” Morgan said. Frederick and Kratz then worked getting the man breathing and wrapping him for transport. One of those who stopped was a doctor, who Frederick said helped direct the EMT team. The TriCare ambulance showed up and their team took over and transported the man to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus. The crash happened just after noon at milepost 6.7 in Egg Harbor Township involving a Hyndai Sante Fe, State Police said. The cause of the crash was still under investigation. “It looked like good Samaritans were able to get the driver out of the vehicle,” Sgt. Jeffrey Flynn confirmed to BreakingAC. All lanes were reopened by 1:22 p.m. The driver’s name was not immediately available. As for Frederick’s brush with fire, he said he had “a little bit of heat on the side of my face and arm. More like a sunburn than anything.” He said it was "just straight divine intervention," that he and Kratz were passing by just at that time. Morgan said it was amazing to see people run to help without thinking of themselves, especially in the current climate. “Nobody gave a thought to their own safety,” he said. “It was, ‘This guy needs to get out of that car otherwise he’s not going to make it.’ It was impressive.”


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