‘Everyone got lucky’: Bystanders help save man’s life after his car goes up in flames in Plantation

Good Samaritans, in a potentially dangerous move, rescued a driver from a burning car in Plantation that crashed into a utility pole, narrowly saving his life as the concrete pole above them was prevented from falling only by the power line.

Had the power line fallen, the people helping the driver could have been electrocuted, said Aston Bright, a spokesperson for Plantation Fire Department.

“Everyone got lucky,” Bright said.

The crash occurred about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on Sunrise Boulevard near Northwest 70th Avenue, directly across from the Plantation High School baseball field.

Multiple passers-by had already removed the man from the car and brought him to the median by the time fire rescue arrived, said Avital Stark, who lives next to where the crash happened.

Bright said the man had serious injuries and was taken to a trauma center at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

“This car really, really hit this thing pretty hard,” Bright said. “To break those concrete poles is not easy.”

Stark was sitting in her living room with her husband when they heard a loud crash and their power went out. The pole that the car hit stands directly outside of her home’s sliding glass doors.

“I hear all this yelling, people yelling to each other,” she said. “It sounds like an argument.”

Stark’s husband ran outside while she looked out the glass doors. The car was already on fire. Multiple neighbors, including one who had just gotten his daughter off the school bus, had run over to help, she said.

They would try to get close to the car, but the flames would get bigger and they would have to move away, she said.

Someone kept yelling, “Break out the back window, break out the back window,” she said.

That was when her husband saw a boy who looked like he was wearing a baseball uniform shatter the back window with a baseball bat.

While another neighbor helped stop cars driving down Sunrise Boulevard, the group pulled the man from the car and brought him to the median.

“Who has the presence of mind to do that?” Stark said of the person with the baseball bat.

Rayshaun Nicholson, who lives near the crash site, said she was inside when she heard the bang of the impact. From her house, she said she could see sparks flying and smoke rising.

“There was only metal. It wasn’t even a car anymore. It was like scraps,” Nicholson said of the car once the fire was extinguished.

The impact of the crash had sheered off the concrete pole at the bottom, according to Bright.

Firefighters had to “use extreme caution” extinguishing the blaze from a farther distance than normal because of the live wires, fire department officials said in a Facebook post.

Hundreds lost power following the crash, including Stark and her neighbors. They weren’t able to leave their homes while police and fire rescue responded, so they sat outside and talked.

Florida Power & Light officials were in the area well into Tuesday night making repairs, the fire department said in its Facebook post.

Det. Robert Rettig, a spokesperson for Plantation Police Department, said the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Sun Sentinel staff writer Lisa J. Huriash contributed to this report.