Merced County man hailed a hero after pulling a man from a burning truck

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A Merced County man jumps into action to save the life of another man involved in a fatal crash Tuesday night. (KFSN)

A Merced County man jumps into action to save the life of another man involved in a fatal crash Tuesday night. CHP officers said one person was killed in the smash-up at Atwater Jordan Road and Lincoln Boulevard. But his passenger is alive thanks to that brave and good Samaritan.

"It was something that had to be done. I didn't have time to think about it," said Richard Dorrity, who rescued the crash victims.

Dorrity was at his home near Livingston when he heard a pickup crash into a semi truck Tuesday evening. The impact of the crash sent the pickup careening into a power pole shearing the pole and dropping live wires on the vehicle just as it started to catch fire. But Dorrity said any risk to his own life didn't matter when he heard someone yell for help.

"I grabbed ahold of his arms and it was hurting him. And I didn't want to hurt him no more. I saw the fire getting bigger, so at first, I started grabbing dirt and throwing it up on the fire trying to help but that didn't help it," said Dorrity. "So I jerked some stuff out of the way so I could get him clear and drug him out, and as soon as I drug him out it exploded."

Once safe, Dorrity went to the semi and helped pull that driver out. It wasn't until then Dorrity learned there was someone else inside the pickup truck. But at that point it was too late. The truck was already engulfed in flames.

"I feel sad for that person who died that I never did see. Maybe I could've done something for him."

CHP officers at the scene are calling Dorrity a hero.

"The resident put his life at stake by running to the vehicle while power lines were over the vehicle, while the vehicle was burning, and took it upon himself to pull out the passenger who is alive now," said Sgt. Luis Lara, CHP Merced.

But Dorrity said it was just the right thing to do.

"I don't really feel like I'm a hero. I feel like I'd hope somebody would do the same for me."

The driver of the pickup truck, CHP officers said was at fault for the crash, died at the scene. That person has not yet been identified.

The passenger Dorrity pulled to safety, and the driver of the semi, were taken to local hospitals with moderate to serious injuries.

Related Topics:
societymerced countytraffic fatalitiesherogood samaritanLivingston
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