Dubuque veteran pulls man out of burning semi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque veteran pulls man out of burning semi

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Iowa City News

    Iowa City News

    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
IOWA CITY (KWWL) - One person is dead and another injured after a Western Express semi crashed in to the Dubuque Street overpass in Iowa City and caught fire.

The passenger, 39-year-old Gary Griffey of Indiana died.

The driver, 24-year-old Shawn Freeman, of Nebraska, was also injured in the crash.

Bob Felderman, also known by friends and family as "General Bob" happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

He was on his way to the VA in Iowa City when he saw the crash, and with the help of another driver, he pulled a man away from the burning semi.

"In the slow motion that it was, it seemed like an hour long film," said Felderman.

Felderman says he saw the Western Express semi drift off and hit multiple guard rails before crashing into the overpass.

"And as I ran up there tires were burning and popping, and the flames were going," said Felderman.

He says it was then he discovered a man on fire was laying near the truck.

A Hy-Vee truck driver started to run toward the man, and Felderman followed. 

He says the man's clothes were almost completely charred off, but he saw vital signs, and that gave him hope.

But then -- another explosion. 

"As we got even with the fuel tank it exploded and knocked us all over," he said.

Felderman and the truck driver were able to get the man to safety.

As he reflects, he says he'll never forget the smell of the burning tires, and how different things could have turned out for him.

"My family is coming to town Sunday, and I knew they would be really upset if they showed up and I got blown up trying to save someone. But I knew I had to save him because he was alive. I knew I had to go in."

Felderman says the Hy-Vee truck driver deserves recognition, as he initiated the rescue.

When EMS services arrived, the two men left the scene, so it is still unclear which person they saved.



Powered by Frankly