Aerial video footage shows the moment good Samaritans in Illinois flipped over a pickup truck to rescue the driver trapped inside on Monday morning.
Orlando Hernandez, 32, was on the way to his construction job on Interstate 88 when he heard a loud sound and his Ford Ranger spun out of control.
“I already knew what was going to happen,” Hernandez told reporters. “One, I’m going to get hurt real badly; two, I gotta brace for impact.”
A portion of the tread from his back tire had torn away, causing the pickup to flip over in the middle of the busy highway.
Hernandez was trapped inside the upside-down vehicle, his seat belt holding his body in place.
“After everything was settled and done, I just remember thinking, ‘OK, OK, I’m alive, I’m conscious, I’m still breathing. Now the only thing is, how am I going to get out of this situation?” Hernandez said.
When they saw what had happened, passing drivers stopped and rushed to the scene of the wreck. Several of the individuals were also construction workers on their way to work.
Using their collective strength, the good Samaritans then pushed the pickup onto its side so that Hernandez could escape.
One of those who stopped to help was Tom Meyers, a firefighter from Rosemont, Illinois.
“At that point, I knew we had to get the windshield and try to cut the seatbelt,” Meyers told reporters.
The video shows Hernandez climbing out of the overturned vehicle after the men broke the windshield and cut him free from his seat belt. They then help him walk away from the pickup and he sits down by the side of the highway.
Reports state that Hernandez was released from the hospital hours later with only minor cuts and bruises.
He later expressed his thanks to the good Samaritans in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
“It just shows you that there’s still good people out there,” he said. “I just want to thank the people that helped me out, if they hear the story and they remember. Thank you. Thank you to all of them for being my guardian angels.”