Plumbers rescue 18-wheeler driver from fiery wreck on Highway 281

'Because of them, that man is alive,' witnesses say

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A trio of plumbers leaped into action just before noon Wednesday following a fiery crash involving an 18-wheeler on Highway 281 near downtown.

The driver of the big rig apparently lost control while traveling southbound on Highway 281 at Hildebrand, and the big rig skidded onto its side before crashing into a guardrail, police said.

"It continued to slide, like to the driver's side and immediately burst into flames," said Lorelei Evans, who was following the big rig.

Evans called 911 and then looked on in amazement as three men jumped out from a plumbing truck and dashed to the burning big rig.

"I see them go to the truck, then go back to their vehicle and then they go back to the truck," Evans said. "I can hear them breaking the window and I watch them pull this guy with the green shirt out. Because of them, that man is alive."

The driver, except for some bumps and scrapes, escaped unhurt.

"I gave him a hug," Evans said. "I think I gave him some water and told him that everything was going to be OK."

Looking back, Evans said there's only one way to explain how plumbers became heroes on this day.

"It's amazing to me how God plays a part in all of it, because if it weren't for plumbers on that day ... it took plumbers to save that individual," she said. 

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