ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — A man credited with saving the life of a truck driver who was involved in a fiery crash in Oxnard Saturday, spoke out to CBS2 Sunday evening.
The Michels family was headed to Disneyland and ready for adventure. But yesterday on their way to the happiest place on Earth, the family --visiting from out of state -- were up-close-and personal to a horrific crash.
Bob Michels, the dad, sprung into action and helped rescue the truck's female driver.
In a story only seen on CBS2, Bob and his wife Aimee related the story of Bob's heroic act to reporter Melanie Woodrow.
The family had been driving behind the truck -- carrying a load of Bounty paper towels -- when it veered off the highway, down an embankment and burst into flames igniting cars parked in a Carmax lot. (In all, ten cars were destroyed and six more sustained major damage.)
Woodrow reported, "Bob, Aimee and Zoey Michels couldn't wait to visit their family in Southern California."
But Disneyland would have to wait a little while until Bob could help a stranger.
"I knew I had to stop and do something," said Bob.
So Bob jumped a guardrail and a fence and rescued the driver.
"I saw him leaning in the driver's side and trying to get her to come out and as he was doing that, I could see the flames starting to come up in the back of the cab. That's when I started screaming and freaking out," says Aimee.
Aimee shot video on her cell phone. It shows the huge fireball that quickly engulfed the truck and shows the imminent danger all around.
"It was crazy," Bob says. "I said we gotta get out of here."
Bob's daughter and nephew anxiously watched as Bob risked his life.
"I was a little bit scared," admitted Justin Ray, Bob's nephew.
"All I was thinking was I hope he's okay," said his daughter, Zoey.
Firefighters arrived and put the fire out. The big rig driver was taken to an area hospital.
Woodrow told Bob he saved the trucker's life.
He replied, "I think I did."
"That's what Bobby does," says wife Aimee matter-of-fact, "that's why we all love him so much."
Bob never got the driver's name. But, reported Woodrow, it seems now everyone knows his -- after the Michels made it to Disneyland, he was named Honorary Citizen For the Day.
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