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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Truck Driver helps pull man from fiery crash in Walcott

The man pulled from the crash went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Iowa State Patrol
Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 11:43 PM CDT
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WARNING: the video contains profane language

WALCOTT, Iowa (KWQC) - On Aug. 30, a fiery crash caused major delays on I-80 eastbound in Walcott.

Police say five vehicles were involved including a tractor-trailer that caught fire with a man still inside the vehicle. Another driver involved in the accident was able to pull the man out of the burning vehicle. That driver’s name is Robert Smith.

“(I) approached the truck, yelled out to see if I was going to get a response because to be perfectly honest, from what I was seeing I didn’t think that he would be alive,” said Smith, “He responded immediately, I could hear his voice and I don’t remember his exact words but it’s clear that he couldn’t get out of the truck at the time.”

Smith said he tried to kick the window open before being able to break it with a rod.

“I asked the driver if he could move, he said he could, and I said basically you need to get out now or you’re going to die and he came crawling out the window, I scooped him up off the ground and away from the truck we went,” said Smith.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, the man that was pulled from the burning vehicle was sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. TV6′s attempts to reach the man have been unsuccessful.

A video from the crash was uploaded Smith’s daughter’s Facebook page, which currently has over 150,000 views.

“It was a really cool video I thought dad looked pretty heroic in it he’s pretty humble about it,” said Julia Smith.

Although Julia wasn’t too surprised when she saw her dad’s actions.

“We weren’t surprised when we heard dad had pulled him out of the vehicle just because of his background, we knew that he’s always been the one to maintain a cool, calm, collected presence while the rest of us were in total freakout mode,” said Julia

Before becoming a truck driver, Robert spent decades in law enforcement, including time as an Iowa State Patrolman. Even with some comments calling Robert a hero, he sees his actions as something anyone would do.

“A bunch of people have called me a hero and I guess, there’s heroes out there but I don’t necessarily feel it. I feel I did what needed to be done and I don’t know if that makes me a hero,” said Robert.

“He was definitely the right person in the right place in the right time,” said Julia.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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