Good Samaritan Helps Driver Stuck in Big Rig After Crash on I-5

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ELK GROVE -- The moment a big rig driver was pulled to safety during a fiery wreck is a moment David Minchuk will remember forever.

"Looking at him, his big eyes just looking at you just asking for help," Minchuk said.

Minchuk, his co-worker and others stopped when they saw a four-vehicle crash on I-5 northbound near Lambert Road in Elk Grove Wednesday night.

"We jumped out the car and started running toward the truck," said Minchuk.

The CHP said an Oldsmobile was speeding on the highway when the driver rear ended a big rig, lost control and drove through the center divide into the southbound lanes.

Investigators said the Oldsmobile then hit another big rig carrying lumber. A Subaru going southbound hit both the Oldsmobile and the second big rig before they rebounded and ended up in the northbound lanes.

The Oldsmobile went up in flames and that driver died. The big rig overturned, but teamwork saved driver Manuel Lainez.

"My buddy had a hammer and a crowbar, we just started picking at the door and another truck driver pulled up, and he had a long crowbar, we started smashing the door we looked at the driver he seemed to be fine he was just yelling 'Help, Help,'" said Minchuk.

Minchuk, a construction worker, said his tools helped pry open the door. They got 49-year-old Lainez out uninjured.

Minchuk said because of a language barrier he couldn't talk to the man he helped rescue, but his face said it all.

"The look on his face was a huge sign of relief," he said.

The identity of the driver who died hasn't been released.

The CHP said the other big rig driver who was hit is Margaret Tsosie. The 59-year-old was uninjured.