INDIANAPOLIS — A semi driver is in critical condition at the hospital because of a fiery crash on the east side of Indianapolis.
The truck he was driving was carrying 4,000 pounds of jet fuel. Investigators believe he was taking the curve of the on-ramp from southbound I-465 to eastbound I-70 too fast, causing the big rig to overturn and spill its payload. The jet fuel ignited causing an explosion and sending black smoke high into the air.
Mitch Navarre, a fellow truck driver, stopped his truck on the side of the interstate and ran towards the inferno and saw the ailing driver, Jeffery Denman of Brownsburg, on fire and struggling.
“I grabbed my coat, ran up to him, and said ‘I’m going to get you out’,” he told WISH-TV. “It blew up a second time. Again, I said ‘I’m going to get you out’.”
Holly McNally, who was coming home from having given birth to her fourth child, saw Navarre trying to get Denman out of the blaze and stopped to help.
“All I was thinking if this was my brother or my dad, I would want someone to help him,” McNally said. “I told myself if something happened to me, at least I was doing a good deed.”
They each walked Denman down the on-ramp and away from the fire and soon after EMTs came and took Denman to the hospital. My bystanders looking on said Navarre should be rewarded for his bravery.
“I told them I wasn’t a hero, but I was a human,” Navarre said. “My human heart told me to go over there. It doesn’t matter what you are, who you are, where you come from. We all have to be there for each other to make this world a better place.”
Both Interstate 465 and Interstate 70 on both directions are open. The on-ramp from southbound I-465 to eastbound I-70 has reopened as well.