Neighbor rushes to aid after truck crash into home

(WAVY/Lavoy Harrell)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side spoke to the firefighter who rescued a man from his smoking truck Thursday morning, after it crashed into a house.

Chesapeake police say the 72-year-old man was having some kind of medical emergency when he started speeding down Dunedin Drive and slammed into the corner of a house, then a fence, and finally, some trees at the back of the property.

David Brown said he saw the crash on his way to work and stopped to help and call 911. He was worried the truck would blow up because of the flames underneath.

That’s when Brown rang the doorbell next door twice, at a home that happened to belong to a firefighter.

“I saw a black plume of smoke,” said Joe Barnes, who was dressed in his uniform, ready to head to work at Chesapeake Station 11.

Barnes rushed to the truck and said he recognized the man inside from down the street.

“He was a little out of it,” Barnes said. “I told him he needed to get out of the truck. He said, ‘Why?’”

Barnes realized the man’s foot was caught between the gas and brake pedals.

Barnes’ wife, Jill, said police officers, concerned about the smoke and fire, urged Barnes to step back and wait for fire trucks and backup to arrive, but he didn’t stop.

“I think because he recognized [the driver], he felt like ‘I need to get him out,’” she said. “But I think he would have done that for anybody. He had a job to do, and he did it.”

Barnes said he wasn’t purposely disregarding the officers – simply that he was overtaken by the task, and never heard them.

“He needed to get out of there,” Barnes said. As for his own safety? “I’m not thinking about that. It’s just what we do.”

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