WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio-- He doesn’t want to be called a hero.
Paul Miroewski was driving home from his job in Beachwood in the southbound lanes of I-271 when he heard a loud boom and then saw flames directly in front of him.
“The semi in the back had struck the vehicle in front of it -- was laid it on its side on the passenger door. The driver got out of the semi he said he was okay; he said he was the only one in the vehicle. We then saw that the other vehicle which we saw flames already coming out with the diesel fuel.”
He showed FOX 8 his cellphone video of the burning vehicle moments after pulling that victim out through the front windshield.
An off-duty firefighter and EMS then came to the aid of that driver who remains hospitalized.
“We grab some object to pull back on the window, the front windshield, we were able to pull the front windshield on the dashboard on up; we were able to grab hold of him and I grabbed his left and the other guy grabbed him by the right.”
The terrifying accident happening during the height of rush hour near Richmond Road in Warrensville Heights Monday evening.
Police say a large semi truck collided with another vehicle that was burned beyond recognition.
Warrensville Heights police are still trying to piece together exactly what happened in the chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles.
They say preliminary indications reveal that as traffic slowed down in the area the driver of the semi truck was apparently not paying attention, and crashed into the back of one of the vehicles.
Southbound traffic remained closed in all lanes for hours, causing traffic delays within a 10-mile radius from the crash site.
Miroewski, a veteran, says he did not think twice before running to the burning vehicle. He says it was his duty to help.
“I did what was right, what most good people would do.”
The identity of the driver of the truck out of Pennsylvania has not been released.
He has been charged with a traffic violation.
Other charges are pending.