Oak Park

Good Samaritans Save Motorist From Burning Car in Oak Park

"I just put my arms under his armpits and lifted him up."

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Matthew Salter says his life is forever changed after he helped another Good Samaritan pull a man from a burning car earlier this week.

The dramatic moment unfolded Monday evening, and now he is hoping to find that motorist and give him a hug.

The crash happened at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the 200 block of South Harlem, near Oak Park and Forest Park, when a car slammed into a tree, according to Oak Park Police.

When Salter learned someone was trapped inside, he says there was no time to think – just act.

“I just put my arms under his arm pits and lifted him up,” said Salter. “Another person jumped in, helping move the man who was unresponsive and bleeding, out of the car then a safe distance away."

Katie Bochenek, a recent nursing school graduate happened to be driving in the area with her parents.

“We see Matthew pulling this guy out of the car and I run over,” said Bochenek. “I monitored pulse and breathing. I kept telling him to stay with me. I reached my hand in mouth and moved his tongue …best I could do for him with no equipment.”

Minutes later, first responders arrived and the man was taken to an area hospital. Katie and Matthew say they would like to meet the stranger they helped save.

“Matthew, myself and other gentleman, we did right thing…wish we could have done more,” Bochenek said.

“The fact that somebody is alive from that crash, weighs heavy on me and weighs heavy on my heart,” Salter said. I want to meet that man and give him a hug.”

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