Hero Trucker Saves Man From Blaze, Angry Trucker Strangles Man With Beltby Jana Ritter - Published: 7/03/2015
Truck drivers come in all shapes, sizes and characters. On Thursday, one incident again proved how many truck drivers are the truest heroes of the highway, and another incident showed again how road rage can turn a day on the job into a far worse fate.
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In Jacksonville, Florida, people are hailing Julian Kaczor a hero after risking his own life to save the life of a speeding motorist who crashed and burned his vehicle into a serious blaze. Kaczor has been running loads from coast to coast for 18 years and has certainly seen many accidents in his time, but nothing quite like what happened Thursday morning. He had been driving southbound on Interstate 95 in Jacksonville to make a delivery in Deerfield, when he said a Ford Five Hundred sped past him and nearly clipped the front end of his semi. The Florida Highway Patrol confirms that the driver had been changing lanes when he crashed into a construction barrier.
But instead of being angry at the driver for putting his own life at risk, Kaczor went into rescue mode pulling his delivery on hold and stopped at the scene to help. "When I got up to him, I made sure he was alive," Kaczor says. But while he was checking on the driver, the car began to smoke and within seconds flames were shooting up into the sky. He knew that if he fled for his own life, he would be leaving the disoriented driver at the mercy of the flames.
"He had a big gash on his forehead. There was blood everywhere," Kaczor explains. So the heroic truck driver and married, father of three made the quick decision to risk his own life and do whatever he could to fight the blaze. "I got my fire extinguisher out and tried to put the fire out, but it wouldn't go out," he said. "I had to force open the door to get the driver out and I then dragged him about 15 to 20 feet." He says that another truck driver also stopped to help and the two of them carried the man away from the burning vehicle. Kaczor says that the other truck driver left before he could thank him and has been very modest about his own part in the rescue. "No, I'm not a hero. Just doing my job," Kaczor says. Nevertheless, his heroic act was caught on video and he is being hailed a hero in the local news. Watch the video here: http://fcnews.tv/1LYdDpQ
But another incident in Florida Thursday involved a truck driver with a very different outcome. According to Florida Highway Patrol, 55 year-old Michael Kelly was arrested after allegedly strangling a motorist with his belt in a road rage encounter on I-75. According to the arrest report, Kelly was furious after the motorist merged in front of him near State Road 40. It is uncertain as to how both vehicles were stopped, but Kelly got out of his cab and approached the driver with a punches. Then, he used a belt attempting to strangle the man and refused to stop even when a Good Samaritan came over to release the victim from his hold. Kelly continued the attack until the other asked his passenger to get his gun. Once Kelly heard the threat of a gun, he finally retreated back to his vehicle.
Police had been called to scene and Kelly was arrested and is now facing serious charges of aggravated battery and attempted murder. Proving again, road rage crime definitely doesn’t pay.