GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — No one stopped when they saw a semi-truck on fire, Irving Pimentel told FOX31, so he and his coworker did.

It was traumatizing at first, Pimentel said, to see the flames early Wednesday morning on Interstate 70, but soon that turned to determination.

“As we start getting next to the car, about 20 yards away, we see the person bust from the windshield,” Pimentel said.

That person was the driver of this semi-truck, which caught fire on the interstate early Wednesday morning near Glenwood Springs.

Semi truck burns on the interstate
Bystanders help pull a driver from a burning semi-truck on Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs on Oct. 12, 2022 (Credit: Irving Pimentel)

Panic turns to purpose near fiery I-70 crash

Driving that same route were Pimentel and his coworker. He said they saw the driver trying to escape the flames.

“He kind of slid down the hood and just flopped next to his car,” Pimentel said.

Utter panic was his first reaction, Pimentel said, but that turned into purpose: “My second thought was: Where’s the person? Where’s the driver? Where’s the person at?”

They eventually helped the driver away from the burning truck. Pimentel said the driver seemed to be Eastern European but was from Boston.

“He was cold so we turned the heater all the way up and just put him back there,” Pimentel said.

That’s where he stayed until medical crews arrived, Pimentel said the driver’s head was cut open and he had burns along his arms.

“The back of our work truck turned into a work clinic, pretty much,” Pimentel said.

There was a moment of pause for Pimentel and his coworker when they realized many other drivers kept going past as the truck burned.

“I feel like it would’ve been different if me and my buddy didn’t pull over because it didn’t seem like anyone else was trying to stop to make sure somebody was OK,” Pimentel said.

“Hopefully he has a speedy recovery…and just learns from this experience,” Pimentel said.