Men pull woman from burning car

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 10, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — Two neighbors helped pull a young woman from a burning car on Grace Church Road Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency crews said a teenage driver ran off the left side of the road as she was traveling west through the 2300 block of Grace Church Road. The Dodge Stratus plowed through three yards and slammed into a ditch before hitting the deck of a mobile home about 6 p.m.
Michael and Jonathan Allen, who live across the street, heard the crunch from the Stratus and saw it smoking in front of their neighbor’s house.
Jonathan, 17, and Michael, 22, expected to find the worst, they said.
“Had I not heard her screaming, I would have expected her to be dead,” Michael Allen said.
They didn’t see anyone moving as they approached and they could see a piece of wood sticking through the front windshield. When they got closer, they realized it was about 8 inches from her face.
“You would never think of it, but it was a sigh of relief to hear her scream,” Jonathan Allen said.
The brothers got the driver’s door open enough to pull the woman to safety.
But the smoke got worse and quickly turned into a small fire on the deck.
Fire crews from Locke, Landis and Bostian Heights assisted. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Rowan EMS and the N.C. State Highway Patrol were also on the scene.
Neighbors and family members said the girl, who appeared to be in her late teens, was not seriously injured.
She was taken by ambulance to Rowan Regional Medical Center.
A phone call to the Highway Patrol Wednesday evening was not returned.
Kristina Putnam, her husband Larry, and their two children pulled into their driveway just minutes after the crash.
“All we could see was black smoke and we thought the house was on fire,” Kristina Putnam said. “It was awful.”
The driver had already been pulled from the car, she said, but they couldn’t tell if the house was on fire.
Their main concern then was their boxer, Hobi, who was inside the house.
After extinguishing the fire, crews allowed the Putnams to get Hobi from the house.
The mobile home didn’t have any visible damage, the Putnams said. But after firefighters put out the blaze and removed the Stratus, about half of the deck was missing.
“They were really shaken up,” property owner Dana Davis said of the Putnams.
Behind the brothers, Davis was the second on the scene and later explained what happened to the family.
“If it hadn’t been for them …” she said.