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4 Seriously Hurt In Somerville Crash, Car Fire

SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Four people were seriously hurt in a multi-vehicle crash and car fire in Somerville Friday morning.

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Somerville's deputy fire chief told reporters a car was speeding toward the intersection of McGrath Highway and Highland Avenue went it slammed into four other cars and a teenager just before 8 a.m.

One of the cars that was hit, a 2005 Honda Civic, burst into flames.

Some commuters scrambled away from the scene but not good Samaritan Ronaldo Freitas.

"I like to help people, especially in a situation like that," he said. "I would have gone to anybody."

He quickly focused on the Civic where leaking gas had caught fire and the 26-year-old woman was unconscious. The doors were locked but a window was smashed.

"I reached with my hand and unlocked the car," says Freitas, adding that he tried to unlock her from the seat belt.

Flames were already in the backseat when Freitas unlatched the seat belt.

"I grabbed her from the shoulders and I dragged her out," he said.

They barely made it to the sidewalk when the car exploded.

By then, good Samaritans were working on the other vehicles.

Freitas says he didn't think about the danger and doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I just want to take her to a safe place and save her life," he said.

The driver that caused the crash, a 56-year-old Somerville woman, suffered a "medical incident while driving," according to State Police spokesman Dave Procopio.

She and the driver of the burned out Honda, a 26-year-old Medford woman, were rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital with serious injuries.

Somerville Car Fire
This car burst into flames after the crash. (Photo credit: Jared)

A 16-year-old boy was hit by one of the cars while in a crosswalk.

"Then I see the guy flip in the air," Freitas recalled.

The boy was also taken to MGH with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

In a statement from Somerville Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi, he confirmed that the injured boy is a student at Full Circle High School. He says the student was walking near the intersection when he was struck.

"Our thoughts are with the student and his family at this time," said the superintendent.

"We are hoping for the best possible outcome for all involved, and are prepared to offer whatever support we can to the student, his family, and to the Full Circle community."

School counselors and administrators will be available to assist any student or parent/guardian who needs support.

No names have been released.

Procopio said the driver who caused the crash will not be charged because of the medical incident.

The road was closed in both directions for about half an hour.

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