Man in Burning Car Saved by Fulton County Rescuers
Police dash cam caught video of the truck engulfed in flames. It happened Thursday April 21 along County Route 122 shortly before 4pm.
The truck went off the road, hitting a tree, sparking a large fire that almost completely consumed the vehicle. The driver, 36 year old Anthony Zambella of Johnstown was trapped in the car, injured, and barely conscious. Another driver, Dave Bertos, saw the accident and the man trapped inside. He tried breaking the driver's side window, but without success. Aaron Kiffney was also passing by the scene on his way home from work and stopped to help.
Both Kiffney and Bertos were able to yank one of the doors open and get Zambella out of the car. All the while, flames were making their way to the vehicle's interior. Bertos told NewsChannel 13:
The floorboards already had flames coming up out of them when we broke the driver's side window, so it was a pretty dire situation.
Kiffney said they could tell he was alive, but seriously injured:
He moaned when we were dragging him. He moaned, so I figured that was a good sign, but his head looked terrible.
A neighbor, Joanna Muhlberger, is a nurse who lives nearby. She heard the crash and rushed over to the scene to help.
I kept talking to him. I told him to keep his eyes open, told him to keep looking at me, hear the sirens, they're coming, they're coming to help him. And I just tried to keep him as semi-conscious and calm as I could, and control the bleeding best that I could.
EMT's arrived on the scene and Zambella was taekn to Albany Med where he was treated and underwent surgery for his serious injuries. Doctors say they expect him to recover.
Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giordano said all three passers-by undoubtedly saved Zambella's life.
An arriving police car's dash cam shows how intense the fire was: