SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Sullivan County Sheriff Jason Bobbitt is touting the actions of an area resident after they reportedly saved a Shelburn man from a burning vehicle following a crash.

According to the Sheriff, Sullivan Dispatch received a 911 call at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday reporting a car that had crashed into a tree and burst into flames near US 41 and Johnson Street.

When firefighters arrived on scene they reported that the car was engulfed in flames, and found a patient on the ground alert and breathing but with several injuries.

It was later learned that a passerby had stopped, realized the driver of the car was still inside the burning vehicle, and jumped into action, pulling the driver from the vehicle.

Sullivan City Fire Chief Rob Robertson recapped the scene.

“While in route, we were told the car was smoking, possibly on fire. When we got there, there was a bystander there and he advised that he had pulled the subject out of the car. The car was on fire, there was flames and it was smoking,” he said.

Robertson said it was a case of right place, right time.

“It was good he was right there at the right time to be able to get there and pull him out before things got worse than what it did,” he said.  

The driver, a 20-year-old Shelburn man was then taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital for treatment. Firefighters were able to put out the fire without further incident.

Investigators found that the crash was caused by the driver falling asleep behind the wheel. Assisting the Sheriff’s Office at the scene were members of the Sullivan City Fire Department and Sullivan EMS.