SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — One motorcyclist suffered life threatening injuries after a fiery crash in Springfield Tuesday morning.
“I was scared. I never seen nothing like this,” Kara Vaughn said after witnessing the incident. “I mean I just was in shock. I didn’t know what else to say. All I said was “Ohh my gosh somebody help him, he’s underneath there!’”
Vaughn and other witnesses say the images are haunting.
Two motorcycles were traveling up State Street when one of them collided with a Jeep Cherokee that police suspect was attempting to make a U-Turn at State and Spring Streets around 11:00 a.m.
The crash sparked a fire, which spread to the Jeep and the motorcyclist himself.
“His whole upper body. The helmet was on fire, his hands was up like this,” Vaughn said. “He was stiff, he couldn’t move.”
Springfield Police Officer Reggie Miller responded rapidly to the call for help.
“Person on fire in the middle of State Street, I’ve never seen that before,” Miller said. “It’s a good thing we had the federal building there, we had several task force officers that came out and helped us and the Fire Department.”
A Springfield Fire Department ladder truck was passing by en route to a separate call at the time. Firefighters stopped, grabbed extinguishers and worked to knock out the flames while Miller and others tried began working on the victim.
“We were able to render first aid, get the fire out, stabilize him,” Miller said. “It just snaps you instantly. You don’t get time to think or react. You just rely straight on your training and you just jump in and do what you’ve been trained to do.”
The motorcyclist was rushed to Baystate Medical Center with a police escort and then flown to a Boston hospital burn unit, where he is suffering from life threatening injuries.
Miller and others hope they never see anything like it again.
“That’s all you can do. Just do what we do and hope and pray for the best,” he said.
Two other people, who were on the second motorcycle and in the Jeep Cherokee, were transported for minor injuries.
The crash remains under investigation.