A kind stranger saves woman trapped in a burning vehicle after several cars just went by her

Monica Westbrook, a Georgia woman, was recently trapped in her burning car when it caught fire. Luckily, a kind stranger drove by and helped her escape.

Monica claimed that her car suddenly slowed down due to mechanical issues while she was driving down Interstate 75. She then drove to the exit ramp where her car shut down completely and started emitting smoke.

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But when she tried to exit the car, the door wouldn’t budge.

“The smoke started getting heavier and heavier, and that’s when I said, ‘Oh my God, this car is going to catch on fire,’” she told WMAZ.

Monica became panicky when she saw her car fill with smoke. She started kicking on the back glass, trying to get out through the trunk, but it didn’t work.

Monica Westbrook's car that caught fire
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Worse, none spotted the scene and stopped to help as flames continued to spread inside the vehicle.

“Cars were coming down the ramp and they were just going by,” she recalled. “I just knew I was gone.”

Eric Zastawrny was a safety manager and was driving down the same interstate. He saw the fire and immediately stopped to get a fire extinguisher from his company car.

Not realizing there was a person inside, Eric broke one of the car’s windows with the extinguisher. Monica was pulled to safety by the Good Samaritan after Eric saw her.

“When he pulled me out of the car, I just held onto him, and he just held on tighter,” Monica, who wishes there were “more Erics,” said of her savior.

Monica Westbrook and Eric Zastawrny
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“Eric is definitely a hero and I will be forever grateful for him,” she added. “Eric now has a new Monica.”

It was the right decision for the man.

“Be a good neighbor, be willing to help somebody out. It clearly goes a long ways,” he said.

Eric said that he felt like it was destiny that he was there at that time. Monica thanked Eric by sending him a card and flowers when they met again.

Monica Westbrook's letter and gift to Eric Zastawrny
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According to a Detroit Free Press article published in 2018, experts say that the first step to getting out of a vehicle that won’t open is not to panic. Next, open every window and lock of the vehicle and make sure to honk the horn.

If you need to break a window, a tool called a “safety” or “emergency” hammer can be used to shatter it. They are typically available online for $10-20.

Another example of a Good Samaritan saving lives from a fire occurred in Mesa, Arizona.

Two young children were saved by police officers last month from an apartment building fire by a gentleman. He was driving by the scene from his nearby carwash when he saw the fire and decided to help out with the operation.

Man looking at a burning apartment in Mesa, Arizona
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The man jumped over a fence and stood on an air conditioner unit. He then ripped out the window frame using his naked hands. He climbed over a fence and stood on an air conditioning unit, emitting thick smoke from the room. He then lifted himself into the room to rescue a two-year old girl. He handed her over at the command of an officer and began to rescue another child, who was reportedly six years old.

“According to all who were there, it if wasn’t for the citizen who assisted, the outcome of this incident may have been different,” the Mesa Police Department said in a statement.

The man didn’t want to be identified and said he only wanted to help rescue the kids. Read more about this story.

Watch Monica and Eric reminisce about their story in this video.

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