Utah Man Meets Rescuer After Fiery Crash In Southern Utah

Nov 8, 2019, 9:20 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — A Utah man who was trapped in his vehicle after being rear-ended and thrown into a ditch off Interstate 15 met one of his rescuers Friday.

“The first time I saw firefighter D’Ambrosio, he was just a silhouette through thick smoke.” Jake Petersen said. “He was my hope. When I saw his blurred silhouette I thought I may have a chance of surviving.”

Petersen, who lives in Saratoga Springs, was traveling to St. George for business on Monday.

Law enforcement officials said a Volkswagen Passat was traveling at high speeds. The driver of that vehicle rear-ended Petersen while he and other cars were stopped, in traffic, near milepost 17 on I-15.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid Petersen was driving was thrown into a ditch and the batteries began to spark in the back of the electric car.

“A number of good samaritans had come to help me, but I was pinned inside. I was in immovable pain,” Petersen said. “People were trying to pull on the doors, but they wouldn’t budge. And then the batteries exploded. Battery acid and smoke hit my face and I couldn’t see.”

Salt Lake City Police Assistant Chief Tim Doubt was off duty and saw the crash. He ran to help and Petersen said Doubt played a critical part in saving his life.

“Asst. Chief Doubt was pulling the jammed door open as far as he could. It was only about 1/2 inch — but enough for me to get the fresh air I needed to survive. I had to teach myself how to breathe again in that moment,” Petersen said. “I really thought I was going to die. People were pounding on the windows with rocks, but they wouldn’t break.”

Meanwhile at Station 64 in Washington City — EMT Ryan D’Ambrosio was 12 hours into his second shift as a full-time firefighter.

“We got the call and made it to the scene in four minutes,” D’Ambrosio said.

Earlier that day D’Ambrosio put the extracting equipment, the jaws of life, in the ambulance. The rookie firefighter used that equipment and four minutes later, he and his partner Bill Lytle were carrying Petersen away from the car.

“When I popped the door, the smoke was thick, heavy and white. It didn’t taste good,” D’Ambrosio said. “The car became fully involved as we pulled him out and spread to the passenger compartment within seconds.”

Petersen’s wife Ashley said the couple feels grateful and has a new perspective.

“It’s a reminder to always appreciate the people you love. Spend as much time with them as you can,” Ashley Petersen said. “We just feel so lucky that Jake is here.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Spanish Fork police at the scene where the teen was hurt....

Andrew Adams

Police: Spanish Fork teen seriously injured after falling out of an SUV

Spanish Fork police said a 16-year-old boy was seriously injured after falling out of a moving SUV on Friday.

4 hours ago

Aftermath of an avalanche off of the Wasatch Mountains. (Courtesy: Rob Holmes)...

Brianna Chavez

Backcountry skier urges caution after triggering avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier urges other skiers to be cautious after triggering avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon

5 hours ago

silver cuffs on a black background...

Alexander Campbell

Cedar City math tutor accused of recording a student in the restroom

A math tutor in Cedar City was arrested after admitting to recording a student in his restroom on Thursday.

5 hours ago

Pair of handcuffs on a black bacthroom...

Alexander Campbell

Salt Lake City man charged with credit union robbery

A grand jury has voted to charge a local man with the robbery of a Cyprus Credit union.

6 hours ago

Joey Skelton, a school bus driver for a Utah school is receiving a thank you poster and an award fo...

Emma Benson

School bus driver hailed as hero for saving student lives after car ignored bus stop arm

A Jordan School District bus driver is being praised after he prevented a possible tragedy from happening to students. 

7 hours ago

A boy leads a band through a community near Manila, Philippines....

Dan Rascon

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bring water to Filipino community

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped to build new water tanks for a small Filipino community that was in desperate need.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah Man Meets Rescuer After Fiery Crash In Southern Utah