Amherst man jumps into action to save 18 year old from fiery crash

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An Amherst man is being called a hero after he pulled a young man from a fiery crash on Capen Blvd.

The 18 year old driver suffered a serious head injury. Neighbors are praying for his recovery.

Howard Williams didn’t hesitate when a young driver hit a tree on his street late Sunday night, causing the SUV to burst into flames.

“I ran over there to say hello, anybody, you okay,” said Williams.

He told News 4 he tried to pry the door open, to save the driver, but it was locked.

Williams called for a fire extinguisher and then used it to put out the fire under the hood. The flames continued to come back.

“The fire looked like it was trying to find some other way to start, cause it started dripping gas or whatever it was leaking,” said Williams. “It started maybe going towards the back of the car and that’s when some of my neighbors came and said ‘leave it alone, you can’t get it open’.”

Williams didn’t stop trying, eventually breaking the window open with the fire extinguisher. He then cut the driver’s seatbelt off.

“Opened it, pulled him to the side and dragged him out to safety just in case the car was going to blow,” said Williams.

A neighbor started doing CPR on the driver.

“We heard ‘he’s got a pulse’,” said Cheryl Mullen, a neighbor who watched it all unfold.

She calls Williams a hero.

“He went into mode and literally save this kid’s life, the car was in flames,” said Mullen.

According to Amherst Police, the 18 year old driver was taken to ECMC with a serious head injury. Officials did not have an update on his condition Monday night.

“We pray for the young man and a speedy recovery,” said Mullen.

She told News 4 if it weren’t for Williams. this young man wouldn’t have a chance at recovery. She calls it an Easter miracle that Williams was outside when the crash happened.

“I believe it was because if he wasn’t out here talking to his daughter, he would’ve been in the house, that car would’ve been engulfed,” she said.

Williams told News 4 he hopes anyone would jump into action if faced with the same situation.

“I did what I had to do,” said Williams. “I imagine if that were me, or someone else in my family, I would want someone to help or try to help.”

Williams is part of the organization Buffalo Police Reserves and said he’s been trained to deal with emergency situations.

The Eggertsville Hose Company told News 4 they put out the fire once they got on scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

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