‘Heroic’ Good Samaritans pull man from burning car on QEW

When Fabricio Lauar was running late on his way to work Monday morning, the industrial millwright had no idea his commute would be interrupted by a fiery rescue.

Incredible video shared by the Ontario Provincial Police late Wednesday night show a white car westbound on the QEW, with smoke trailing behind.

Lauar would end up being one of the five men who pulled a 36-year old driver from the white car that was burning. Shortly after the group pulled the driver from the vehicle, it completely bursts into flames.

OPP sergeant Kerry Schmidt said the driver of a white sedan lost control of their car while heading west on the QEW after suffering a medical episode just after 9 a.m. on Monday.

Incredible video shared by the Ontario Provincial Police late Wednesday night showed a white car travelling on the westbound QEW, with plumes of heavy smoke trailing behind.

The car hit a barrier, kicking up dust, before crossing the highway and crashing into a guardrail near the Cawthra Road exit. Lauar was driving behind the car and captured the collision on his dash cam.

When the vehicle spun out onto a grassy median, Lauar said he stopped his car to check on the driver.

“I knew he was going to crash eventually,” Lauar said. “My first thought when I saw that happening (was) ‘when he stops, we got to get him home.’”

Lauar, seen in the navy blue T-shirt in the video, said he managed to open a passenger door and stuck his head into the smoking car to find the driver unresponsive.

“It looked smashed, (there were) airbags everywhere,” Lauar said.

Ben Sykes, wearing the white hoodie, tried kicking out the driver’s side window. As more smoke poured from the vehicle, Lauar said he tried to unfasten the driver’s seatbelt to no avail.

It was then that Lauar said a driver passing by shouted at the men, “fire!”

In the rush to try to pull the driver out and break the windows, the men failed to notice the grass around the car was on fire, and flames had started shooting out from under the belly of the car. Lauar said that kicked their efforts into high gear.

“There was a lot of adrenalin rushing through my body at that moment. I was afraid but I put that aside,” Lauar said.

Lauar said another passerby handed one of the rescuers a hammer, to try to smash the driver’s window. They were eventually able to break through using a jack and unlocked the car’s doors, Lauar said.

Lauar said Sykes “went through the fire” to unfasten the driver’s seatbelt. Lauar and another man pulled the driver from the car.

Seconds later, Lauar said, the car became fully engulfed in flames.

“It was just a moment of disbelief because everything just happened so fast,” Lauar said. “It felt like a movie.”

Ontario Provincial Police said the driver was taken to hospital with minor burns. They said the driver had suffered a medical episode.

“If I’m ever in a similar situation, I hope these men are driving behind me,” Schmidt said.

“They are absolute heroes.”


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