Good Samaritan helps driver escape south Austin car fire

A 22-year-old helped save a man before his car burst into flames in south Austin on Dec. 26, 2017 (Courtesy Cole Pohlman)
A 22-year-old helped save a man before his car burst into flames in south Austin on Dec. 26, 2017 (Courtesy Cole Pohlman)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 22-year-old came across a rolled over pickup truck in flames — and didn’t hesitate to help the driver.

The man’s black pickup truck rolled over on US 183 near the intersection of Ben White Boulevard on Tuesday. Cole Pohlman credits God for putting him at the right place at the right time — a place he normally never would be.

“I was talking to my dad and we were like, ‘What are the odds that our schedule had to be redone, we had to meet him at 1:00 — our subcontractor — and that I was driving past at that specific time. That seems like a one-in-a-million chance, because I’m never in south Austin,” Pohlman said.

When he was driving by, he noticed a black pickup truck flipped on its side.

“It was on its right side, so it’s on its passenger’s side flipped,” Pohlman said. “And there was nobody around” — until he ran up.

Pohlman said the driver, who he estimated to be in his 60s, was beeping the horn.

“I lifted the door open and then he crawls out and there’s airbags everywhere,” Pohlman said. “He’s like ‘What happened, like my chest hurt and then I was on my side. I don’t know what happened.’ So we get him out, we get him clear. There’s a guy like way behind us, and he’s yelling, ‘It’s on fire, it’s on fire!'”

“Very shortly after he was out of the truck is when the truck really set fire,” Pohlman said.

Mere minutes made it possible for Pohlman and the driver to get away safely.

“I would say to people, you know, if somebody looks like they need help, help ’em,” he said, talking about how he was surprised more people didn’t stop.

Pohlman’s father told us Cole has talked about wanting to become a firefighter in the past. It’s a career path he’s now thinking about more seriously.

The Austin Fire Department confirms the driver walked away with “no obvious injuries.”

“It was really just a miracle that he wasn’t even hurt,” Pohlman said. “At the end of the day, it’s a God thing. It really is.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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