Woman offers special message to rescuers who pulled her to safety before car went up in flames on I-90

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — A young woman who was pulled from her car just moments before it erupted in flames has a special message for her rescuers.

“I just want to say thank you thank you so much, you all are, like, the best people ever honestly,” said Brittani Lewis.

Brittani Lewis. WJW photo

The scene was so intense following the fire that the 24-year-old didn’t even get her rescuers’ names, but then saw the story on Fox 8 News Thursday. 

Shane Knowlton and his girlfriend, Jennifer Whitehead, were driving home after dinner Wednesday at about 9 p.m. when they say Brittani’s car broken down along Interstate 90 in Cleveland approaching Deadman’s Curve.

“I noticed cars in front of us started swerving and then at the last second I could see flames coming from under the car,” said Knowlton.

The couple quickly pulled over in the emergency lane on the northside of the highway and sprang into action.

“He’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, somebody’s cars on fire.’ He said, ‘I have to (stop)’ and I said, ‘I know.’ I barely got the car in park and he was out running across the traffic,” said Whitehead.

Knowlton sprinted across four lanes of traffic on I-90 and began banging on the window. 

“She didn’t realize it was even on fire,” said Knowlton. “I just pulled her door open told her, ‘come on, we gotta go.’”

Lewis was calling a tow truck when she was startled by Shane, but says her instincts told her to trust him.

“I jumped when I looked at him but my instinct, I trusted him so I got out of the car,” said Brittani, “He was like ‘get out of the car, it’s on fire. It’s gonna blow, it’s gonna blow.”

Moments later the tires did blow up out from the intense heat and the vehicle was entirely engulfed in flames.

The incredible video was recorded by the Elyria couple once the driver was safely in their backseat.

That’s when Lewis noticed a small burn on her arm and says the reality of the situation began to set in.

“It was really fast, like in a matter of seconds. I don’t know if I sat there for an extra 5-10 seconds my legs probably would’ve been burnt up. I don’t know, I really don’t know,” said Lewis, “That was God, like really at the end of the day, that was God.”

Knowlton never even once considered his own safety.

Both he and Whitehead said they are just grateful that they were in the right place at the right time.

“I just wish more people would look out for everybody,” said Knowlton. 

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