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Arlington Heights Ford Sales Manager Sam Vasco Grabbed Fire Extinguisher, 5 Others Helped at Crash by Portillo’s

Sat June 02 2012 8:09 am
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VIDEO: MINI Cooper Crash with tree in front of Portillo’s and Arlington Heights Ford on Dundee Road.

At least six people came to the rescue for a woman who crashed into a tree in front of Portillo’s Thursday just before 7:00 p.m. Arlington Heights Ford Sales Manager Sam Vasco said “he had never seen anything like it” but he just went into action when he saw a bad crash across the street from Arlington Heights Ford. Four big guys had already pulled the female driver out of her MINI Cooper when he saw smoke coming out of the engine compartment. He knew it wasn’t air bag smoke, which is commonly mistaken for a car fire after a crash. He grabbed a fire extinguisher from the car dealership and went to work on a fire in the engine compartment of the MINI Cooper while the four men and a nurse — all passers by that stopped to help — went to work on first aid for the victim while she was lying in the parkway. Arlington Heights firefighter/paramedics and police arrived within minutes. Vasco prevented the car fire from developing into a full blaze by extinguishing the fire early.

Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 6:56 p.m. Thursday to a car vs. tree crash on Dundee Road, just west of Ridge Avenue. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that a car hit a tree and started on fire with one person trapped in the car. A female driver was rescued by at least six citizens before police and firefighter/paramedics arrived.

Witnesses reported that the woman pulled from the car appeared to have serious injuries, and that staff from Arlington Heights Ford, directly across the street, brought a fire extinguisher to the front of the car to extinguish the fire. Firefighter/paramedics were able to go immediately to work on patient care. The driver was transported to Northwest Community Hospital.

A second crash also occurred near Dundee Road and Route 53 about one-half mile west at about 7:00 p.m. At least one person was injured in a crash that involved a vehicle hitting a barrier.

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