NH trooper, Manchester firefighter save driver in Mass.
According to a news release from N.H. State Police, Trooper Scott Frye was heading northbound on I-93 near Exit 44 in Andover, Mass., driving Gov. Lynch and the first lady. Frye said a 'road rage incident' unfolded in front of him about 6:45 p.m.
The three watched as a vehicle went over the guardrail and rolled down an embankment, catching fire while at rest on the driver's side. The driver was trapped inside.
Trooper Frye said that he stopped to assist. As Gov. Lynch called 911 to report the accident, Frye grabbed a fire extinguisher from the trunk of the cruiser.
Frye and off-duty Manchester firefighter Keith Knight, who was also driving in the area, tried to free the lone occupant of the vehicle. The two attempted several times to remove the driver, who was pinned in the vehicle.
Massachusetts State Police said Monday morning that Steven R. Marques, 61, of Methuen, Mass., was the man trapped inside the 2003 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle that had come to rest off to the right side of the roadway, about 20 feet into the shrubs and trees.
Preliminary investigation by Massachusetts state troopers indicates that a road rage incident involving the Durango and a red Ford pickup truck may have preceded the incident, according to the release. During that incident, police say their investigation suggests the Durango tried to pass to the left of a BMW traveling in the center lane, clipped the BMW and lost control, exited the roadway, struck and went over the guardrail, struck a sign, rolled up an embankment into the wood line and caught fire. The red pickup truck did not stop.
Mass. state police issued a warning for marked lanes violation to Marques, adding that the crash remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.
According to the news release from N.H. State Police, Marques' legs were trapped under the dashboard. The man continually called out in pain and pleaded for Frye and Knight not to let him burn. The vehicle was on fire when Frye entered through the front windshield, moving the driver's seat and back section. The trooper reached under the dash and freed the man's legs.
With the assistance of Knight, Frye then pulled the man out over the dashboard and through the smashed windshield.
Seconds after the driver was pulled to safety, the vehicle burst into flames, the news release said.
Frye was taken to a local hospital with smoke and chemical inhalation injuries, minor cuts and scrapes. He was treated and released.
The incident is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Troop 'A', Andover Barracks. The driver of the red pickup truck is still being sought.