The victim of an accident Wednesday in Glenville will be giving thanks today for the good Samaritans who pulled him out of his burning car and put out the flames.
James Masa, a 39-year-old trucker for Jackson Demolition, was on Route 50 heading back to the Schenectady office around 3 p.m. when he noticed a few men standing around a smoking vehicle near Wendy’s. He stopped his truck in the middle of the road.
“I grabbed the fire extinguisher out of my truck and ran down there. The flames were coming out of the bottom of the car,” he said.
Masa said he couldn’t see into the car because there was so much smoke. He began spraying the foam as other men pulled the victim out of the vehicle. The man appeared to be unconscious, according to Masa.
“He wasn’t moving. When they dragged him out, I noticed that the shoes stayed in the car. The shoes didn’t come out with them. They yanked him out pretty quick,” he said.
Masa, who lives in Schoharie, said he has never come to someone’s aid like that but noted that all of the company’s truckers carry fire extinguishers. He didn’t stick around because his oversized truck was blocking traffic.
“My main concern was getting out of the road,” he said.
Thomas Corners Fire Chief Doug Lauser speculated that the victim, whose name was not available, may have had a medical issue.
“The driver appeared to have an issue with the accelerator. When he hit the other car, his foot hit the gas,” he said.
The impact damaged some plastic bodywork, which then caught fire, according to Lauser.
The victim was treated by Mohawk Ambulance on scene and then taken to the hospital.
That section of Route 50 was shut down until the crash could be cleared, with traffic rerouted onto Airport Road.
Masa, who attended the police academy in Florida a decade ago, said it was a natural reaction to help the man.
“I hope he’s OK,” he said.