Good Samaritan pulls driver from flaming car after early-morning crash

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CHICAGO — A county worker is being hailed as a hero after pulling a man out of a burning car, saving his life early Sunday morning.

Around 3 a.m. Sunday, Chris Cammon was waiting for a bus at the corner of 79th Street and Jeffery Boulevard in South Shore, heading to work the early morning shift at the Cook County Forest Preserve, when he says he heard the vrooms and screeches of cars drag racing blocks away.

As two cars raced towards the intersection, Cammon says one clipped another and crashed into a traffic light pole in front of a nearby Walgreens, erupting into a ball of fire. A passing driver caught a graphic video of the car engulfed in flames on her cell phone.

Cammon says he ran across the street to help.

“The car was on fire, so I immediately stopped and tried to get him out the car. I was yelling at other people to stop to help me pull him out of the car,” Cammon said.

With help from others at the corner, Cammon pulled a 24-year-old man from behind the wheel of the burning vehicle, and dragged him across the street to safety.

“It was real gruesome, his legs was very tangled up and the fire from the car was getting hotter and hotter, so we had to just drag him over,” Cammon said.

By 3:15 a.m., emergency responders were on the scene and firefighters put out the flames. Authorities say the victim survived, and was taken in critical condition to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Neighbors later called Cammon’s actions heroic.

Thank god for… that guy, actually, because these people could have died or anything,” neighbor James Cheeks said.

“Whoever that security guy was, he was there to pull them up out of there, because it was obvious they couldn’t get they self out,” neighbor Sean Harris Jr. said.

But Cammon says he just did what he hopes anyone would do when life brings them to a critical crossroads.

“I seen somebody in trouble and I wanted to help him,” Cammon said. “I’d do it for anybody, and I’m hoping people would do it for me.”

No word yet on possible charges for the driver of the car involved in this accident.

As for Cammon, he reported for work later Sunday, and says he’ll be right back at that bus stop tomorrow morning for what he hopes is a much quieter commute.

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