BANKS, Ore. (KOIN) — Numerous people, including an off-duty deputy, stopped along Highway 26 to pull people and a dog from a burning SUV after it crashed late Saturday night near Banks.
The crash happened around 10:50 p.m. near the intersection with Highway 6, Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Jeep Cherokee reportedly left the road, went airborne over a drainage ditch, then hit and caught fire. Passersby saw the Jeep in the median after it crashed and began burning. The 2 people inside were hurt and not able to get out.
Four people pulled a young woman and dog from the Jeep as it began to burn.
“We went for that front door and [it] was jammed, so I went for the back door and when I swung it open, she was right there,” Good Samaritan Derek Kolstad said.
Off-duty Deputy Todd Hanlon pulled the driver, 18-year-old Jordan Moore of Hilslboro, out of the Jeep as it became fully engulfed in flames, authorities said.
“Couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe,” Hanlon recalled. “I had to step back, take a deep breath, come back in. Started feeling my way around, I finally felt a person in there.”
Moore was airlifted to OHSU in critical condition. Officials said his condition is improving and he is expected to recover. The young woman was rushed by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel. Her condition is not known at this writing.
The dog was unhurt and is being taken care of by family, the sheriff’s office said.
“Everything that happened that day, it all fell into place a certain way that could only be divine intervention,” Kolstad said. “It’s not everyday you meet a hero.”
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.