Citizens help woman when car catches fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Citizens help woman when car catches fire

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

January 13, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Imagine you're on your way to work, when suddenly, you car suddenly becomes engulfed in flames. That's exactly what happened to Anita Tunstill Tuesday morning while she was driving along Roxanna Road in Radium Springs.

But when you see what's left of her car, you'll see why its miracle she's alive.

It sounded like a dump truck at first, then came a loud noise.

"I just heard a crash. A boom." But what Eliza Berry heard from inside a Roxanna Road home was no dump truck. And what do she see? "Fire. Just a huge fire."

A huge fire that engulfed Tunstall's Lincoln MKX. The 57-year-old Tunstall was behind the wheel of the SUV on her way to work when she noticed smoke coming from the back of her car. Witnesses tried flagging her down, but by that time, flames were shooting up the side.

She ran off the road, struck a mail box, a sign, and then skidded across the road leaving a trail of flames, coming to a rest underneath a power line.

Rich Williams was driving his kids to school when he saw what happened. "I'm driving around the corner and I see the trail of flames and I noticed that car over there was on fire."

Not knowing if anyone was trapped inside the burning car, Williams and a group of good Samaritans, employees at Radium Springs Elementary, jumped into action.

"I got out and ran over, and Mr. Poole, the gym teacher, and another teacher were over here, and this purse came flying out as it was on fire. This lady dove out and we just dragged her away."

"The car just started popping, engulfed in flames and exploded."

Tunstall made out it, in shock, but virtually unharmed. It's a miracle she says, just to be alive.  Something she credits to the unselfish acts of others who put their lives in harms way to save hers.

It isn't clear what caused Tunstill's car to catch fire. We spoke with her by phone and she tells us she would like to personally thank those who came to her rescue, adding that she wouldn't be here without them.

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