Sunday, September 25, 2022
HomeNewsPassers-By Free Quadriplegic Man From Burning Van

Passers-By Free Quadriplegic Man From Burning Van


Man’s Wheelchair Was Anchored To Burning Vehicle’s Floor

ALBANY, Ind. — Good Samaritans and a police officer freed a quadriplegic man from his van Monday after it caught fire on a road outside Muncie, Ind., officials said.

Todd Buchanan, 39, of Indianapolis, said he was sitting in his wheelchair in the driver’s compartment of his van when it caught on fire.

Buchanan pulled the van off the road and three men, Allen Webster, Jeff Tapley and Bruce Smith, came to help him, RTV6’s Kristi Tedesco reported.

Buchanan said his wheelchair and safety harnesses made it hard for the men to pull him from the van.

Buchanan said his wheelchair and safety harnesses made it hard for the men to pull him from the van.

“The chair was anchored down on the floor. I had a seat belt, a chest strap, my feet strap and then the typical shoulder harness in the car,” Buchanan said.

With black smoke billowing in their faces, the three men worked to control the flames and extract Buchanan from the vehicle. They managed to get his upper body free, but Buchanan’s feet were still stuck.

Muncie Police Officer Kyle Temple finally got Buchanan out of the van, Tedesco reported. He said he did not want to take the credit, however.

“I’ll take it as a group effort. That’s about as far as I can allow. If the gentlemen weren’t there, I couldn’t have even gotten close to the van,” Temple said.

Fire investigators think that faulty wiring in the engine compartment started the fire, Tedesco reported. Investigators said there is a lot of wiring that goes into converting a van for people with disabilities.

No one was seriously hurt in the rescue.

News of the rescue traveled all the way to Washington, D.C., where Rep. Mike Pence praised the Good Samaritans while on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tedesco reported.

Copyright 2004 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved.

- Advertisment -

Must Read

A congressman wasn’t allowed on a flight — because of his...

Wheelchairs powered by lithium-ion batteries are growing in popularity, but airline workers have mistakenly prevented some passengers, including Rep. Jim Langevin, from boarding planes When...