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Man saves fellow truck driver before truck explodes in single-vehicle crash in Tornillo

Fiery crash of moving vehicle along Interstate 10 near Tornillo Exit on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. (Credit: Bryan Mitchell)

Bryan Mitchell’s day was just getting started Wednesday morning when he saw a fellow truck driver in need.

"I seen a big ol' cloud of dust from the west side and seen this truck go through the guard rail, slam into the bridge, do an end-over and the back end went up and over the cab,” Mitchell said.

It happened on Interstate 10 near the Tornillo exit. Mitchell said he and another truck driver pulled over to help.

"We found the driver hanging halfway out of the cab. He hadn't been wearing a seat belt. His left leg was caught up and pinned in the truck. So we started working to get him out,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell and the other driver pulled the man out of the truck just in the nick of time.

“Just when we got him out, the truck started to burn, we picked him up and started to run toward the westbound lanes of the bridges,” Mitchell said.

“As we were taking him, the truck ignited and the fuel tanks blew."

Mitchell told KFOX14 there was a secondary explosion during the crash.

He continued to help the injured truck driver, and his Marine and firefighting training took over.

"My adrenaline was going and I didn't think much of it,” Mitchell said.

“Once we got him out and the adrenaline calmed down, it kind of hit me. It hit me really bad last night that I could have died and if we hadn't had been there he would've there, he would've burned to death."

Mitchell hopes his story inspires others to step in to help.

"Most people don't want to get involved. If it was me in that truck that wrecked, I'd want someone to get me out of there,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell told us he called his wife after the incident to let her know he was alright and they said a prayer for the driver.

It worked.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the driver is in Del Sol Medical Center and is stable.

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