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Good Samaritans Help Extract Man From Burning Car in Albemarle - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Good Samaritans Help Extract Man From Burning Car in Albemarle

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Update: As of Tuesday morning at 11 a.m., the man is in fair condition.

Monday, a man is in critical condition after a fiery car crash in Albemarle County - but it could have been a lot worse, without the help of some very brave, complete strangers.

Police say the man was driving extremely fast on a winding section of Route 53 Sunday night in Albemarle County when he lost control of his car. The car went up in flames - with the unconscious driver at the wheel.

Some very brave passerbys saw the car and sprang into action. On their way home from Easter dinner, Jenna Brandon, her father and her sister were some of the first to respond. They managed to pull the driver to safety with just moments to spare.       

"We just saw that man and we were thinking that we needed to jump out and get him out of that car as soon as we could," said Brandon.  

Brandon has a bruised back, some swelling, and frightening memories of the moment Sunday night.

"We're in his car, kicking his door. You know,' you were just in an accident'. ‘We're trying to get you out of here, your car's on fire,'" said Brandon. "We definitely saved his life."

They spent precious minutes kicking and prying at the car doors, until finally pulling the driver from the car.

"We were able to grab him and pull him up out of his passenger window," said Brandon.

Deborah Diemer, Brandon's mother, watched from feet away.

"Right after they got him out, the interior of the car became engulfed in flames," said Deborah. "Proud, very proud. But I was also very scared," said Deborah.

According to Albemarle County Fire Marshal Howard Lagomarsino, in most cases you should wait until help arrives rather than risking your own safety - but in this case, every moment matters.

"With the car being on fire, you know obviously you've got to get the person out of that situation," said Lagomarsino.   

If you ever find yourself faced with a similar situation, take it from those who have been there before. 

"Don't get yourself into trouble, but do what you can and what you know," said Brandon.      

Brandon and her sister, Shauna Diemer, credit their first aid training as lifeguards at Lake Monticello for knowing how to respond in a potentially deadly situation.

The crash is still under investigation, and the driver faces charges for reckless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

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