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Witnesses pull woman from fiery wreck at gas station near Tomball

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Witnesses pull driver from fiery wreck Tomball chevron gas station fire

A fiery crash at a gas station sent bystanders rushing into an inferno to save a woman's life. It happened late Wednesday morning on Highway 249 and Northpointe in northwest Harris County.

It's not clear why that driver lost control. She careened into a crowded gas station, and the impact instantly ignited two pumps.

"I thought it was going to explode," said eyewitness Rick Nelson. "The fire was everywhere!"

Nelson was just feet away, putting air in the tires of his work rig. He immediately realized he had to help.

"Just doing what any other person would do," he said.

Chris Reich and another guy joined in the effort to save the woman. They say the front door of her Jeep wouldn't open.

"I remember praying to God, to make sure the car didn't blow up," Reich said.

Reich says they were finally able to yank open the back door and pull the woman out. Despite the eight to ten foot flames at the time, he says he wasn't thinking of his own safety.

"I really wasn't even thinking, to be honest with you," he said. "I didn't have time to be scared."

Investigators believe that woman was headed northbound on Highway 249 and lost control, plowing into a van that was waiting to exit the gas station. That van hit another van which was gassing up. They tell us the woman's vehicle then struck the pumps and kept going. The scene forced Highway 249 to be closed for hours as emergency crews put out the fire and cleaned up the mess.

Reich and Nelson say they were not heroes here today, only doing what they thought was right.

"I would want somebody to do the same thing for me," Reich said.

That woman was taken to the hospital for treatment but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

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