Motorcyclist’s life saved by heroes who lifted car

Posted Sept. 13, 2011, at 7:59 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 13, 2011, at 10:09 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah motorcyclist who was pinned under a burning car after a collision expressed his gratitude Tuesday for the help of strangers who lifted the 4,000 pound vehicle to rescue him.

“I’m just very thankful for everyone that helped me out,” Brandon Wright told The Associated Press by telephone from his hospital bed. “They saved my life.”

Authorities said Wright, 21, was riding his motorcycle Monday near the Utah State University campus in Logan when he collided with a black BMW that was pulling out of a parking lot.

Tire and skid marks on the highway indicate that Wright laid the bike down and slid along the road before colliding with the car, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis said.

The bike hit the car’s hood and bounced to the ground, while Wright, who was not wearing helmet, slid under the car and then both vehicles burst into flames, Curtis said.

Wright was trapped beneath the burning car. A group of about 10 men and women rushed to help, tilting the car up to free him and pull him to safety.

“Every one of those people put their lives in danger,” Curtis said. “Those people are heroes. You can only speculate what the outcome would have been if they hadn’t lifted that car and waited for the emergency service personnel to get up there.”

Construction workers from a campus building project also grabbed fire extinguishers to try and put out the flames.

Chris Garff, a media production specialist for the university, caught the rescue on video. The 31-year-old was on the 9th floor of a university building shooting a promotional video for the school when he looked out of the window and saw black smoke billowing from the road.

On Tuesday, Intermountain Medical Center spokesman Jess Gomez said Wright was expected to be moved from intensive care to a regular room at the Murray hospital and upgraded to satisfactory condition.

Despite not wearing a helmet, Riggs said Wright had suffered no head trauma in the accident. Wright does have two broken legs, a broken pelvis, road rash, burns on his left foot and abrasions to his forehead.

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