Strangers rush in to save couple trapped under burning tanker on Route 17

Michelle Charlesworth Image
Monday, October 16, 2017
Strangers rush in to save couple trapped under burning tanker
Michelle Charlesworth reports on good Samaritans who are being hailed as heroes

GOSHEN, New York (WABC) -- Dramatic video shows a brave good Samaritan rushing to save a couple whose car ended up wedged underneath a burning tanker on a New York highway.

The crash happened at about 4 p.m. Sunday on Route 17 in Goshen (Orange County).

State Police said a tire blew on a Subaru, causing the driver to lose control. The car slid to the left, right under a tanker, and caught fire.

Two senior citizens were inside that car -- Carmin and Alejandro Rivera Sr., who have been married 56 years.

No one knew what was in that tanker. Was it fuel? Was it gasoline? Was it home heating oil? It turned out it was liquid sugar.

The couple's son, Alejandro Rivera Jr., said he's thankful that total strangers ran across the highway to help.

"My parents would not be here," he said.

Had no one helped they might have burned to death. Their son is convinced of it.

The wife, Carmin, suffered head trauma and is in intensive care. Her husband suffered a broken back, broken ribs and a broken ankle.

We spoke to a witness who is praying for them for a full recovery, while also praising the immediate actions of total strangers who ran across lanes of traffic on the highway to help people in a fire emergency that could blow at any minute.

She is telling everyone to buy a small fire extinguisher to keep in the car. She said she is buying one Monday.