Good Samaritans Smother Trucker's Flames

Queens man suffers burns over 40 percent of his body

State police said two good Samaritans smothered the flames as a trucker burned after his tanker flipped over and caught fire on a New Jersey Turnpike ramp in Secaucus.

The Samaritans were following the truck in two separate vehicles.

Angelica Mercado was on her way to work at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck when she saw the tanker crash. Mercado used her jacket to help put out the flames on the driver Rajinder Singh's torso while another woman put out the flames on his shoes.

Mercado said she bundled up Singh and drove him to University Hospital in Newark as fast as possible. Police stopped her, but then waved her on after seeing how badly burned the truck driver was, according to Mercado. The nursing student says Singh gave her phone numbers of releatives to call.

The 33-year-old Queens, N.Y., resident is in critical but stable condition with second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body.

State police said the truck was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline.

The crash snarled rush-hour traffic on the northbound turnpike.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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