Cuban refugees save man from fiery car crash

A group of Cuban refugees rescued a man from his burning vehicle and averted tragedy  after the car crashed Sunday evening, trapping the driver.

“I didn’t think about it. For me, it was about moving quickly and getting him from the car,” said A. Silveira, one of six Cubans in Bodden Town who rushed to the aid of the unconscious driver.

The group had been socialising outside a home, when a grey Kia Cerato crashed into a wall and caught fire around 8:30pm near Condor Road and Easy Street.

If the group had not intervened, Silveira said, the driver would have likely been engulfed in flames and died. “Imagine. If we hadn’t gotten him out of the car, he would have burned,” Silveira said.

“He was not reacting and the door was jammed. We managed to force it open and we were able to get him out,” he added.

Seconds after the risky manoeuvre, the entire car was engulfed in flames, witnesses said.

Silveira recalled witnesses at the scene applauding when they saw the man had been freed, just in time to avoid the larger vehicle fire. “If I had to do it again, I would do it again without a doubt,” he said.

The shocking one-car accident alarmed neighbours, who feared the fire could spread to nearby homes. Several attempted to control the flames with garden hoses until firefighters arrived on the scene.

“It was very intense,” Silveira said. “It could only be put out once the firefighters arrived with their trucks.”

Police said in a statement issued Tuesday that the driver, a 26-year-old West Bay man, has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He has been granted bail as investigations continue.

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