Flames on highway

Two vans crashed on WYO 120 about 20 miles north of Cody on Monday morning. Motorist Russ Dwyer of Cody stopped to help the victims and also snapped a photo of the accident. (Courtesy photo)

Taking a trip north Monday morning on WYO 120 turned into an eventful drive for Russ Dwyer of Cody, who helped out victims of a fiery accident.

Dwyer came upon the scene of a crash, which occurred about 20 miles north of Cody, just seconds after it happened. He helped four people get out of a minivan, only minutes before it burst into flames on the side of the road.

“The crash happened about 30 seconds before I drove up and there was only smoke coming out of the vehicle when I got there,” Dwyer said. “It was an odd looking accident, so I stopped and asked if they needed help. I helped four people out of the van, then it burst into flames.”

Dwyer was able to snap a couple of pictures on his cellphone as smoke began to pour from the vehicles. Other drivers also stopped to offer their assistance.

“We got the people out of the way, then the van went up first in flames,” Dwyer said. “The first young lady who got out of the car called 911 and told them the location. It was a tough area to get cell service, so I was happy to be able to help them out before the emergency personnel arrived on the scene.”

A pair of U.S. Forest Service workers also drove up on the scene from the other direction. They are 

trained to help fight fires and attend to the needs of victims and  were able to assist the people involved in the accident.

Other drivers also offered assistance to the accident victims. One woman, who is a nurse from Pennsylvania, was driving back from Yellowstone National Park and stopped to give medical help.

Dwyer was driving north toward the Montana border, when he came upon the accident. His quick thinking and willingness to help strangers prevented a bad situation from becoming much worse.

“It wasn’t anything special; I just stopped and helped them out,” Dwyer said. “I’m glad nobody got seriously injured.”

Fire trucks from Cody responded to the scene of the accident and put the blaze out. The vehicles were heavily damaged in the accident. Further details were not available at presstime.


(Scott Kolb can be reached at scott@codyenterprise.com.)

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