Police: Man Trapped In Vehicle After Road Rage Accident
ANDOVER – A New Hampshire state trooper and an off-duty firefighter helped rescue a man after the trooper, Gov. John Lynch and the first lady witnessed what police are calling a road rage accident in Andover, Mass.
Trooper Scott Frye was traveling with the governor and first lady in an official capacity on Interstate 93 around exit 44 when they saw the incident.
Police said the vehicle went over a guardrail, down an embankment and landed on its driver’s side and caught fire. The driver was stuck inside.
Off-duty Manchester firefighter Keith Knight said he scrambled down the embankment after seeing the crash.
“I said, ‘Hey buddy, you OK?'” Knight said. “He kind of moaned and groaned.
“Frye grabbed a fire extinguisher from the trunk of his cruiser and quickly joined Knight as Lynch called 911.
The injured driver continually called out and pleaded not to let him burn. His legs were trapped under the dashboard as the fire approached, popping one of the vehicle’s tires, rescuers said.
Police said Frye climbed through the front windshield of the burning vehicle and freed the man’s legs. Knight helped Frye pull the man to safety.
“Each of us grabbed an arm, and we tugged the guy three, four, five times, and on the fifth try, we ended up getting him out through the windshield out to the grass,” Knight said.
Seconds later, fire consumed the vehicle, police said.
The trooper and the firefighter earned big praise from Lynch. “They are the real heroes,” he said.
“They saved this guy’s life, and we should all be grateful for their actions.
“Frye said he was just doing his job.
“I was only doing what any other trooper or public safety official would do in that circumstance,” he said. “I am just glad that everyone is OK.”
The driver was identified by Massachusetts State Police as Steven R. Marques, 61, of Methuen, Mass. Police said they believe a road-rage incident between Marques’ car and a red pickup truck preceding the crash.
Massachusetts police said Marques’ vehicle tried to pass another car in center lane but clipped it and lost control. The red pickup truck did not stop, police said.
Marques, a Peabody, Mass., police officer, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Frye was treated and released at a local hospital for smoke inhalation.
This wasn’t the first time Lynch arrived early to an accident scene. In November, the governor came upon a three-car pile-up in Derry. He and the trooper driving him blocked oncoming traffic and checked on the people in the cars.
In 2007, a woman who accidentally drove her car into a ditch in Hopkinton was surprised to find Lynch and his state trooper detail were the first to respond. The governor got behind the wheel of the woman’s car and the trooper pushed, but they had to end up relying on a tow truck to get the car out of the ditch.