Off-duty officers and other strangers saved two car crash victims from a fiery wreck Sunday.
A car flipped over in the median on the interstate between Mauston and New Lisbon, trapping the driver and a passenger inside. Luckily, two fire captains, a nurse, and a state patrol officer, all off-duty, happened to pass by the crash.
"The original plan was to leave two hours later and so it's just incredibly lucky how things happen, how all those people are there at once," said Phil Witkewicz, a State Patrol Officer from Sun Prairie returning from a trip up north. "They probably would have had very severe injuries or lost their lives if we wouldn't have happened upon the scene."
Fire Fighters from Black River Falls came across the crash on their way back from an arson investigation conference. Capt. Collin Carriere and Capt. Jennifer Amundson flagged down truck drivers, who they knew are required to carry fire extinguishers. They used them to help battle a spreading brush fire. Witkewicz took another to break windows on the car and pull the shocked riders out to safety.
"You put a bunch of strangers together from pretty much everywhere in the state, Madison, we had people from Black River, and whoever else that was there that was helping, just coming together going 'Hey we need to help these people,'" said Carriere. "Knowing that the car was on fire and the fuel source on the median, the dry grass and stuff, it could have been a lot worse than what it was."