Hero Pulls Fellow Truck Driver From Fiery Crashby Jana Ritter - Published: 3/09/2016
After recent stories about truck drivers turning on each other, today a truck driver risked his own life to pull a fellow driver from his burning cab. But although the heroic truck driver did succeed in rescuing the man from the vehicle, tragically 52-year old Tyrone McKenney later died from injuries he sustained when his semi-truck crashed.
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According to investigators, McKenney was traveling southbound along I-65 in Johnson County, Indiana on Wednesday morning at around 6 a.m. It is still unclear as to why he lost control of his semi-truck, but it caused him to veer off the road and strike a guardrail. Then the semi-truck traveled 50 feet off the road before hitting a tree and bursting into flames. Veteran truck driver, Brian Corns, had been driving the same stretch of I-65 and saw the truck hit the guardrail and spin off the road. He said it was a matter of seconds before the entire truck was on fire and he knew he had to help.
“I saw that there was an immediate fire and knew that it was going to get worse and that the guy needed help,” says Corns. “Who in their right mind can sit back and not try to save somebody if they are getting ready to die? I would not want to live with that.” The 56-year-old immediately pulled over and sprinted across the interstate. He said the heavy smoke and flames made it difficult to even see if the driver was still inside and he searched the burning semi until he found him. "When I got to the cab of the truck the trailer was blazing, it was burning me, but I knew I had to get him out." The semi had been hauling liquid protein in large plastic containers, which Corns got all over him during his rescue. But although he was nearly getting burned himself and inhaling smoke, Corns continued his efforts until he managed to pull McKenney from the wreckage.
Emergency crews quickly arrived on scene and began treating McKenney who was conscious at the time. Unfortunately, he later died at a nearby hospital but police commended Corns’ heroic efforts nonetheless. "Bryan Corns bravely put his life on the line for a complete stranger to save the driver from a horrific death inside that burning semi," read the state police statement. And like a true hero, Corns turned down medical attention and drove off from the crash to return to doing his job.
Miraculously, firefighters found McKenney’s dog still alive inside of the cab during the cleanup. The dog has been taken to a local vet and is reportedly doing well.