Bystanders rush to pull man out of burning car

Car overturns, catches fire on Sam Cooper Blvd
Published: Sep. 26, 2016 at 11:12 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 9:20 PM CDT
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Rickie Nelson (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Rickie Nelson (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A car overturned on westbound Sam Cooper Boulevard and caught fire just west of the flyover.

The driver was not injured in the crash and was able to escape just before the car burst into flames. Several people helped pull him from the car.

"Devastating," Rickie Nelson said. "My whole car was burned completely."

Nelson said he doesn't know what caused the crash on Sam Cooper. Despite the twisted and charred wreckage, he doesn't have a burn or broken bone.

"I'm just very happy that I'm alive," Nelson said.

But, he didn't get out alive on his own. He has strangers to thank for helping with that.

"I just want to say thank you for the Memphians that helped get me out of my car," Nelson said.

Chris Altrock, a preacher at Highland Church of Christ, was one of many who jumped into action and helped Nelson.

"They stopped in the middle of rush hour and pulled over to help this guy," Altrock said. "Right there this was the opportunity to help."

Nelson was trapped in the upside down car when Altrock rushed over to help.

"I just pulled and pulled and pulled on the door. Finally it opened," Altrock said.

He was able to free Nelson before a flame sparked inside the car.

"Within an instance, that flame just turned into a large fire," Altrock said.

Nelson was OK and able to reassure a worried girlfriend that was thankful for the strangers who were there when he needed them.

"It's good people everywhere," Nelson said. "I just want to say thank you."

Shelby County Schools said White Station High School senior Roland Williams III was also one of the people who jumped into action to save Nelson.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.