Good Samaritans who helped victims in fiery, fatal crash speak out

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DENVER -- People who stopped to help at a fatal, fiery crash in Denver spoke about the experience Friday.

The accident happened midmorning Thursday on Interstate 25 near 52nd Avenue, and involved a dump truck and a vehicle carrying four people.

One person died and three were injured. The driver of the dump truck was not hurt.

Veronika Odnoralova and her fiance Gene Shvedov won’t call themselves heroes. They say they were only doing what any one should have.

They were behind the dump truck and Jeep when the crash happened. As flames engulfed the dump truck and Jeft left hanging off the Jersey barrier, they stopped to help.

“I just started yelling for everyone to pull the hood off,” Odnoralova said.

“She was saying there’s a person in there we need to get them out,” Shvedov said.

Odnoralova said a woman, blocked by the dump truck's hood, was trying to get out of the driver’s side window.

“As we pulled her out, pulled her away from the car, it exploded a little bit,” Odnoralova said.

It took several people to carry the badly burned woman to safety.

“She was screaming. I was trying to figure out if there was more people in the car,” Odnoralova said.

There were three other people in the Jeep. One made it out on his own. Another woman, also badly burned, rolled down an embankment. The third person died in the flames.

Odnoralova focused on keeping the woman she pulled out awake and calm.

“She kept screaming leave me alone, go in there, leave me alone go in there,” she said.

“I just told her like, there’s other people by the car, I’m going to take care of you and help is coming. That’s all I could tell her,” Odnoralova said.

Despite their heroics, they are left feeling remorse for the man who died.

“I feel like maybe if I was more courageous and went into the car there was more I could have done more. I thank God everyday for the precious lives we have and just appreciate it cause it can change in the blink of an eye,” Shvedov said.

The Denver Police Department has not identified the man who died in the crash and is still investigating the cause.  ​

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