BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A group of good Samaritans came to the rescue after a car crashed into a restaurant building on Niagara Street in Buffalo Saturday morning.

Buffalo police say a vehicle crashed into the site of vegan eatery Strong Hearts, just after 11 a.m. Saturday. Before Buffalo fire crews arrived at the scene, witnesses were already in action to help as the car went up in flames.

Clay Butler, who witnessed the scene and helped render aid, told News 4 he heard a loud pop. When he turned around, he saw the burning car with the driver standing outside. As Butler’s mother, a doctor, went to assist the driver, he was afraid the restaurant would also go up in flames and be destroyed.

That’s when more bystanders arrived to help pull the burning car away from the building and deal with the fire.

“Another good Samaritan in a big truck showed up with a chain while the car was on fire, yanked the car out in the middle of the road while I was stopping traffic,” Butler said, “and then somebody else was trying to hit it with a fire hose as well.”

Buffalo Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene shortly after. The driver was transported to ECMC to be treated for injuries, police said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.