State Police have charged the driver, Robert L. Thompson Jr., 27, with driving under the influence. They say speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. The accident is still under investigation.
Good Samaritans helped rescue a driver from his car after it crashed and burst into flames on Interstate 195 in Richmond early Thursday morning.
Witnesses tell 8News the car was going very fast in the southbound lanes near Douglasdale Road shortly before 1 a.m. when the driver appeared to lose control.
"I thought it was a police officer because it was coming so fast," Joseph Barden told 8News at the scene. "All of a sudden, as it got closer to me, it went out of control and started to hit both sides of the roads by the guardrail."
Barden says the car was going back and forth across the road "like it was a pinball" before coming to rest and bursting into flames.
"I knew the guy had to get back, because I knew the car was going to pretty much blow up," said Hinson Corprew, who stopped at the scene after the vehicle caught fire.
A driver who only wanted to be identified as Anthony told 8News he rushed over after the car crashed into a jersey wall and stopped.
"I told him, 'You've really gotta get out of the car,'" said Anthony. "He tried to assist me as much as he could, but his foot got caught on the steering wheel, so I had to try to get his foot free from the steering wheel. We managed to do that. After that, we had to get him out of the car and move over to a safe distance."
State Police said the driver of the burning car was taken to VCU Medical Center with minor injuries.
Anthony told 8News he is glad everything ended well. "He helped save his own life, but I definitely did everything I could to try and help him."
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