Good Samaritan saves driver after car bursts into flames on I-215

Nov 8, 2021, 6:35 PM | Updated: 8:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A complete stranger came to the rescue of a driver on Interstate 215 after seeing his car on fire.

“He was thanking me a lot,” said Caden Pabst.

Pabst was heading northbound on I-15 and getting off on the 215 Belt Route when he suddenly noticed smoke coming from the car next to him.

Then, he saw huge flames shoot out from under the car.

“I was yelling, ‘Move over, right now! Move over!’ And when he gave me the thumbs up, I was like ‘No, move over, move over, now!'” said Pabst.

The driver of the Kia Rio eventually pulled over.

“I hurried and pulled over, put myself in park, and then just ran over to him,” said Pabst.

Pabst said he told the man to grab what he could and quickly get away from the car.

A short time later, the car burst into flames, and then later exploded.

“Oh, it was massive! Pretty solid ten feet into the air. It was a lot of fire,” said Pabst. “[And then], you just heard a massive explosion, and we went over there and there was little bits of his engine. It was crazy.”

Pabst said the driver knew something was wrong with his car and was planning to get off at the next exit, but had no idea that his car was actually on fire.

Considering what was left of the car, it’s clear this could have been a very dangerous or even deadly situation if the man would have driven further down the road.

“One hundred percent, his engine would have blown up,” said Pabst. “He had no idea. He just gave me a thumbs up. He was just living life.”

Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol spoke to the driver about what happened.

He said the driver told him that he knew his car was having problems and was trying get to the next exit.

“He did want to give full credit to the driver who got his attention, saying thank you, because who knows what could have happened,” said Roden. “It could have been really dangerous. It could have spiraled out of control, quick.”

Pabst said he’s just glad he got there in time.

“Once the car was completely in flames, I was just, like, really grateful that I really, honestly stopped, because a lot of people didn’t,” said Pabst. “I guess I’m just not the kind of person that can see someone in a lot of trouble and not do something about it.”

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Good Samaritan saves driver after car bursts into flames on I-215