Good Samaritan pulls victim to safety following fiery crash in Travis County

A fiery crash killed one person and sent a truck careening into a church in Southeast Austin Tuesday morning. 

As authorities continue to investigate the crash, FOX 7 spoke with a man who witnessed the crash and jumped into action—pulling one of the victims to safety.

Shortly before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, police say a Volkswagen was headed north on US 183 near FM 973. It slowed down and was rear-ended by a pickup truck hauling a trailer.

"As a result of that crash, the vehicle was pushed into the southbound lane and struck by another vehicle," said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Deon Cockrell.

The Volkswagen burst into flames, killing the driver. The other driver was sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

"And we heard a loud, loud crash," said Josh Bramblett, who was working across the street. "By the time we looked down to the highway, that car was already on fire."

Bramblett ran to the scene to help.

"Grabbed our fire extinguishers and tried to put the car out. But there was no putting the car out. I mean, it was in flames. And the driver of the other vehicle was in his car still. So we pulled him out and laid him in the grass," said Bramblett. "So just being in the right place at the right time really felt very good to be there and be helpful."

The truck, meanwhile, slammed into San Francisco Javier Catholic Church. Both people in the truck are expected to be okay.

"The responders called out people to make sure they can do the best they can from causing any more damage to the building," said Cockrell.

But the damage was done to the church’s sacristy, which is the side room used to prepare for mass. The front sign was destroyed as well.

The Diocese of Austin said in a statement: "We are cooperating with the Department of Public Safety on this matter as they investigate this accident...Father Abraham Mejia, pastor will be working closely with diocesan staff and his parish family to address immediate and long term repairs. In the interim, Mass will continue to be celebrated in the church."

Meanwhile, neighbors like Ashael Jaimel say they are concerned that crashes like this are becoming more common. 

"I was surprised, because it's not the first time something like that happened, accidents in front of the church," said Jaimel. "Yeah, people are going too fast and stuff."

But the damage was done to the church’s sacristy, which is the side room used to prepare for mass. The front sign was destroyed as well.

Church leaders added they are saddened by the loss of life, and are praying for those involved and their loved ones.

The crash remains under investigation by DPS.

Travis County crash on Highway 183 kills 1 person, 1 person injured

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