Waverly men save trucker from burning semi-truck accident
In the face of fire, two local men pulled a trucker to safety after his truck ran off the road and burst into flames.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — In the face of fire, two local men pulled a trucker to safety after his truck ran off the road and burst into flames.
“Well, at first when we got to the truck, we both kind of paused, tried to prepare ourselves for was inside and he told me to open the doors,” said Cockerill.
On Thursday morning, a trucker became unconscious after experiencing a medical emergency
His semi-truck went off of Hwy 6, just east of Waverly, and caught fire.
Joe Cockerill and Matt Verkamp were separately on their way to work and pulled over. They say a woman dialed 911 as they saw the truck catch fire and moved to help.
“He’s stuck, and his leg is stuck between the seat in the front and the front engine compartment,” said Verkamp. “Then I got jumped up in there trying to get his foot loose. I couldn’t so I was yelling for Joe to help me. Joe climbed up in there was able to get his foot loose. We both ended up carrying him, getting him out of the truck. Then we carried him up to like up to the highway.”
During that time, Joe didn’t recognize it was his best friend who ran to the scene with him but both men said their friendship gave them the courage to keep trying to free the man.
“And I kind of started to panic because you could see the flames,” said Cockerill. “They’re up over the window. You know, they’re coming through the floorboard. He yelled again, he’s like Joe, we got to get him out of here. And in that time, I looked back at him to see who was calling me by name. And then I realized it was my good friend Matt. So that kind of calmed me down. And I figured out how to pop his leg free. ”
“It was more comforting to have him in that situation knowing like my buddies with me. ”
The man they saved has asked for their numbers and is recovering in a nearby hospital. Even in a pandemic, they say humanity is still needed.
“You would you just hope someone would do it for you if you were in that position,” said Verkamp. “I mean, you couldn’t just sit by and watch, watch the cab go up in flames with him sitting in there. He was unconscious. Like he didn’t have much time to get out of that truck.”