WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - A man was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center Thursday after a rollover crash involving a dump truck that caught fire, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The crash was reported at about 9 a.m. in the southbound lanes of State Road 429 near mile marker 29.
The driver, Michael Bridges, 61, of Orlando, may not have survived the crash if it hadn’t been for good Samaritan, Jason Williams, risking his life. Williams ran across the southbound lanes of State Road 429 and pulled Bridges from the cab of the burning truck, troopers said.
Bridges was driving north on the highway with a load of yard waste when the tread separated from one of the dump truck’s tires and he lost control, FHP said.
He crossed over the grass median and drove into the southbound lanes, clipping a 2014 Honda driven by Monica Gupte, 37, of Ft. Lauderdale, troopers said.
The dump truck continued on and ran off the shoulder of the roadway and started to roll.
When Bridges’ truck came to a rest, it caught fire and he was trapped inside, troopers said.
As soon as I seen the flames, I knew he was probably trapped inside of it. So I ran across the road and went up there. I didn't hear nobody or see nobody, nothing. So I figured they didn't make it, you know?" Williams said.
Williams ran across the highway, approached the burning dump truck and pulled Bridges to safety, FHP said.
“All of a sudden, the door popped open and he's screaming for help. ‘Help! I'm burning up!’" said Williams. “So I grabbed him by his pants and he kind of bear-hugged me and went backward with him and we both fell backward off of the truck and that was it."
Bridges received serious burns in the crash and was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition, troopers said.
Gupte was not injured in the crash.
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