Man helped rescue one friend from crash, but watched another die

LYONS, Ill. — A suburban man who survived a fiery car crash that killed his friend said he believes he was put in a position to help when no one else could.

Anastacio Morales, from Lyons,  and two friends were returning from a night of celebrating the birthday of his friend Jamie Ann Poulos, 23. They were traveling home around 3 a.m. Sunday in an Uber, when they were hit from behind by a speeding car near the Damen Avenue exit. Morales was in the passenger seat. Their car spun several times and burst into flames.

Morales was able to open his door and get out. He pulled one of his female friends from the backseat to safety.  She suffered third-degree burns on her shoulder and chest and is still recovering.

Morales went back to get Poulos, but she was unconscious and pinned in from the damage the car sustained. She was pronounced dead.

Morales said Poulos was a strong minded, but tender soul.

“She never left your side.  She was always there no matter what,” he said.  “Through your hardest times, she’d always be there for you as a friend.”

A Morton West High School grad, Poulos’s mom described her as  beautiful and humble. She worked at a Starbucks in La Grange, a playful employee who loved her job. She was studying at Morton College with dreams of being a meteorologist or an astronomer.

More information on fundraising efforts on this Facebook page.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.