Students save teens from car fire


On Mar. 9, juniors Jeremy Sprague, Matthew Carillo, and Tyler Berger were driving to Berger’s house to pick up a guitar when they saw a car on fire on the side of the road. Carillo was driving around 9 p.m. and pulled the car off the road. Carillo instructed Sprague to dial 911 and handed over his phone.  Carillo called for a firetruck and an ambulance, alerting the other boy’s attention to the four teenagers standing on the side of the road next to the car. Carillo began yelling at them to move away from the car out of fear of it exploding. “If you see that, it’s kind of just a natural response to help people, not just take a picture and leave,” said Carillo. 

“[His sweatpants] were burnt off, with only his waistband and some fabric remaining around his ankles. His legs were all burnt. His hands were black and bloody,” said Sprague. Another woman, who presumably had just returned from the store, pulled over and began to hand bottles of water to the kids. Unable to carry them because of the burns on their hands, Sprague opened the bottle for them and poured water over his hands to wash off the blood. He then asked if Sprague could take off his socks and other clothes that were still burning. Carillo had the teens call their parents to alert them of the accident. 

“We were their age, so we were able to calm them down . . . They were in shock. They had so much adrenaline, they didn’t even know if they were hurt,” said Sprague. An ambulance came and put the boy on a stretcher. The police had also arrived and instructed everyone to sit on the curb. They put another boy on an oxygen tank. “Car fumes are very toxic. He was coughing and shaking, rocking back and forth. One of the kids’ moms showed up. You could see her running into the street, crying with her hands on her knees. It was hard to see,” said Sprague. 

When asked how the accident started, the teenagers said it was caused by fireworks. “I’m assuming they were going to throw them out the window, and they dropped one, lighting up the other ones at their feet. It started a huge thing, causing them to swerve off and almost hit a pole,” said Sprague. 

Of the four kids, two were relatively unharmed, one suffered from burns, and the other from harsh smoke.