A good Samaritan and two Bay St. Louis police officers risked their lives to rescue a man who was trapped in a burning vehicle.
Tyra Lewis, an employee at Dunbar Village, said Tuesday that she had just gotten off of work and was driving home at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night when she noticed a black Toyota in the ditch near State Street on Old Spanish Trail.
The car had apparently just crashed and there was heavy damage to the front passenger side.
“I could not believe it,” she said. “It looked bad and the car was smoking. There was nobody around, so I stopped to see if anyone was inside.”
When Lewis approached the vehicle, she said flames began to shoot from under the hood. Then, she said, she heard a man’s voice inside.
“He was trapped,” she said. “The door would not open and he was sort of pinned inside. He was asking me to help him.”
Lewis said she then realized that she did not have her cellphone on her.
“I told him that I was going to find some help,” Lewis said. “I jumped back in the car and drove over to the fire station on Main Street.”
As Lewis drove off, she said the flames began to get more visible.
“I was thinking, this man is going to die in that car, I better hurry.”
When Lewis arrived at the fire station a few blocks away, Bay St. Louis Police Department officer Jamie Nelson was pulling out the parking lot.
Lewis told Nelson what was happening and the two drove back to the crash scene, Lewis said.
Officer Scott Armentrout arrived at the crash site about the same time and the two officers took immediate action, Lewis said.
The two officers busted out a window and pulled the man out through the shattered glass as flames, smoke and fumes continued to envelop the Toyota, Lewis said.
They then carried the man to a grassy field across the street.
The Bay St. Louis Fire Department then arrived and extinguished the fire before any damage was done to a house on the corner of State Street, only 15 feet away.
“They saved him,” Lewis said. “It happened so fast, but those two officers acted very brave.”
The name of the driver was not readily available, but he appeared to be alert, and walking and talking to officers as he was being checked by paramedics from American Medical Response.
No other information about the crash was available Wednesday morning.