Good Samaritans save family trapped in overturned minivan

- A group of strangers banded together to help a family trapped in their minivan after a serious rollover crash.

The crash happened Tuesday around 7:15 p.m. Cell phone video sent in by a FOX 4 viewer shows the moments after the crash on eastbound I-20 just before the 360 north exit. The Arlington Fire Department says everyone in that van was able to get out before first responders arrived.

Arlington police say street racing is to blame. One of the drivers racing tried to change lanes when they clipped another car and caused a chain reaction. The van flipped over was not involved in racing, but police arrested one woman who was racing for DWI.

Teri Pratt was the witness who recorded the video of the Good Samaritans rescuing the people trapped in the van. She felt they needed to be recognized.

“Couldn't have gone any smoother,” she said. “Everybody got over there. They lifted the car. Everybody worked together, they got the grandmother out.

The witness says a family of six, including three kids, were trapped inside but got out safely. A trauma nurse, who happened to be there, took charge before other first responders arrived minutes later.

The Arlington Fire Department says three people were taken to hospitals. Arlington police say the van crash was caused by two other drivers racing. One of them hit a car setting off a chain reaction. Police arrested one of the racing drivers, Demetria Pryor, for DWI and say one of the victims is in serious condition.

“Given how many people were involved, it could've been worse,” said Arlington Police Sgt. Vanessa Harrison. “Incidents like this are exactly why we're out here being proactive with our aggressive driving enforcement.

And while everything appears to have gone right with this rescue, trauma advisors say it's important to assess the situation first and only step in if you feel safe to avoid making possible injuries worse.

“There's debris everywhere. There can be gasoline. There can be fuel. There could be a hazmat situation,” said Melissa Christon with the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. “And, obviously, the occupants of the vehicle could be severely injured. If you can help, help. But safety is first and foremost.”

“There's still good people out there,” Pratt said. “There's still people willing to stop and take the time to put themselves in danger to help others.”

Arlington police are cracking down on aggressive driving with special patrols after multiple incidents this past month. They're urging people to call and report any aggressive driving so they can prevent incidents like this.

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