The driver of a truck crashes through one building and into a second building. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.
HALLSVILLE, TX (KLTV) -
An East Texas man was flown to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas from burns he suffered after crashing his truck into a triplex.
It happened just after 7 a.m. in the 400 block of North Central Street just north of Highway 80 in Hallsville.
Residents say they heard a loud crash and ran outside to see a hole in the side of a building at the Parkside Residential Community apartments.
Victoria Parker was one of the first people outside when the crash happened. She saw the truck which had passed through one building and hit a second.
Parker said the driver was still in the truck.
“He kept pressing on the gas pedal so the tires ended up catching on fire. The whole thing was lit on fire within minutes,” Parker said. “(He) was stuck in the truck for a long time."
There were seven residents in the triplex. One woman was in her living room when the truck stopped.
“She was hit by the truck. It was just her knee but she’s going to the hospital now,” Parker relayed.
Witnesses like Nikki Rhodes say she thought the driver was having a seizure. She lives a few doors down from the crash and saw the aftermath of the crash.
“The whole building went up in flames,” Rhodes said.
Hallsville ISD Officer Mack Fuller and Hallsville Police Officer Eric Rogers were at the scene in minutes.
“The ladies were screaming he was still in the car. By the time we got to the front of the vehicle to try to get him out from the passenger’s side, the whole side of the building was on fire, coming out the eaves,” Rogers said.
Rogers grabbed a fire extinguisher and knocked the fire back.
“The guy was coming to and so we ran to get him out of the vehicle and it blazed back up and we couldn’t get to the vehicle,” Rogers explained.
Rogers said the driver pulled himself partially out of the passenger window.
"And we were able to get up to him and yank him out of the car,” Rogers stated.
Rhodes said that when police arrived and got the man out, his hair was on fire.
“His head was on fire, his body was on fire,” Parker confirmed.
Rogers said they were able to stop the fire from spreading on the man.
“We put the fire out on him and dragged him away from the building. At that point we were right next to the front door,” Rogers said.
Rogers says if the victim wouldn’t have pulled himself partially out it may have gone differently.
“He did a lot of the work himself. If you could have a good patient he was definitely one,” Rogers added.
The end of the rescue was caught on camera by Jennifer Ross Williams who was driving by at the time of the fire.
Police have identified the man as William Click, 20. Police also say they didn’t see skid marks leading into the building which would indicate he was trying to slow down before impact.