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Woman saves man from burning truck
BARSTOW • Bibi Boucher is used to hearing loud noises from the train as she works the graveyard shift at the Holiday Inn Express in Barstow. When she heard a loud boom Monday morning she paid no attention to it.
But Boucher, an auditor at the hotel, said when the security guard came in to tell her what had happened outside, she ran outside without hesitation.
Shortly after 2 a.m. on Monday morning, a pickup truck traveling on West Main Street veered off the road for unknown reasons, and hit the pole in front of Bun Boy, according to Sgt. Andrew Espinoza Jr. of the Barstow Police Department.
When Boucher went outside to see what happened, she saw a flickering light and immediately knew the truck was on fire.
“I called the police and checked the truck and saw there was a man sitting on the driver’s seat,” Boucher said. “I opened the door and saw the man slumped over and checked to see if he was breathing.”
Boucher said the flames grew once she opened the door, so she quickly made a decision to pull the man from the truck. According to Boucher, a man who was near the scene assisted her by pulling the driver’s feet out of the pickup truck.
Shortly after the driver was out of the truck, Boucher flagged down an ambulance that was traveling on Main Street. The paramedics stopped and assisted the driver, then the Barstow Fire Protection District arrived on scene and extinguished the fire, Espinoza said.
“If the driver would have stayed in the vehicle he would have possibly been severely burned and most likely passed away,” Espinoza said. “What Ms. Boucher did was very heroic and she demonstrated extreme courage by her initiative to help somebody in danger.”
Espinoza confirmed the motorist was a 31-year-old Barstow resident, who was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. According to Espinoza, the driver suffered multiple abrasions to his face and mouth and possible rib and abdominal injuries.
Espinoza said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the single vehicle collision.
Boucher said when she found out the driver would survive from his injuries, she was relieved.
“I didn’t really sleep well until I found out he survived,” Boucher said. “Thankfully nobody else was in that truck, because the whole passenger side was smashed. And really, the fact that I was able to react like that in such dangerous conditions really surprised me because I’m a wife and mother.”
Boucher said she is happy the driver is okay and hopes to one day be able to meet him again under different circumstances.
Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com.