SAN DIEGO — “I was just going down the 15, you know, just like any other night.”
FedEx driver Jonathan Rohrbach was going from Riverside County to Otay Mesa around 3 a.m. Wednesday when he spotted a car that had crashed and caught fire on Interstate 15 in the Miramar area.
“Some people get in a car accident, if they’re OK they’ll get out of the car, grab their phone, they’ll be talking to the tow truck, 911, whatever — walk around the car looking at the damage,” Rohrbach said. “But I didn’t see anybody walking around, which usually means they’re still in the car, plus it was on fire, that could get bad real quick,” said Rohrbach.
Rohrbach quickly stopped, then grabbed his phone and a fire extinguisher from his FedEx truck.
He temporarily knocked down the fire and noticed the driver was trapped after the guard rail had gone through the driver’s door.
“He kept saying ‘my legs, my legs’ — so I kind of thought that he might have been pinned because the car was kind of mangled up pretty good,” said Rohrbach.
Rohrbach managed to pull the driver out of the car and safely away from the vehicle moments before it went up in flames.
“He was very calm and just laying there and keeping himself relaxed,” said Rohrbach.
Rohrbach called 911 and emergency crews arrived within minutes, transporting the injured driver to a nearby hospital.
Asked about his heroic actions, the 41-year-old Lake Elsinore resident says his training years ago as a volunteer firefighter kicked in and he just knew it was the right thing to do.
“Everybody keeps calling me a hero and tells me I saved his life, but I just did what I think anybody would do or, you know, at least I did the best that I could with what I had,” said Rohrbach.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the 28-year-old injured driver had serious injuries and DUI was not a factor in the crash.