Man Hailed As Hero After Rescuing Driver From Fiery BQE Crash

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man spoke out Sunday night after his quick-thinking actions saved a driver involved in a fiery crash recently on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Richard Taylor is being hailed as a hero – and he said the reason is simple.

“God put me in a spot for a reason, at that specific time,” he said. “I usually don’t take that route. And that day I did, and I was able to help somebody.”

That somebody was the driver of a semi-trailer truck that burst into flames after crashing into a car on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway near Hamilton Avenue in Gowanus. Taylor was driving behind the truck, and pulled over to help, police said.

A bystander shot cellphone video of Taylor, who was seen in a blue vest pulling the injured driver from the back of the truck cab just seconds before it was fully engulfed in flames.

“I heard: ‘Get him out! Get him out!’ I took off and I ran to the truck. When I got, there the door was ajar. And I seen him, and he was like, kind of had his hands out and I just pulled them out,” Taylor said. “When we got, out I remember saying, ‘It’s your lucky day.’ And he said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because you’re alive.’”

Taylor, a humble hero, said he cannot take all the credit. Another man helped him drag the driver a safe distance away from the burning truck, worrying it could explode.

“I think there was an Army medic lady that had pulled on over and had a bottle of water, and we gave that to him. Then there was the Jewish police responded very fast. And there was an off duty, you know, fireman there,” Taylor said. “It was like everybody was in the right place at the right time.”

Taylor’s 2-year-old son, Dominic, could not be more proud of his daddy.

“He took the man out of the fire,” Dominic said.

“Watching the video, it was pretty wild, you know?” Taylor said. “My son’s seen it, and this was a couple weeks ago, and he said, ‘Daddy, don’t do that again.’”

Taylor said all he knows about the driver is that his name is Dean and he is from Brick Township, New Jersey. He is hoping to reunite one day to see how Dean is doing and share his history of the courageous close call.

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