MATTOON — The Mattoon Police Department has thanked three motorists who helped at the scene of a fiery crash early Sunday morning on Interstate 57.
Deputy Chief Ryan Hurst posted on the department's Facebook page that the incident began when Officer Adam Jenkins, who was working part time for the Lake Land College Police Department, responded to a crash near the U.S. Route 45 exit ramp. Jenkins located the vehicle, which was engulfed in flames, well off the roadway in a ditch.
As the officer was attempting to get to the burning vehicle, he was approached by three motorists who had stopped to assist. They soon located the driver on the ground, directly next to the burning vehicle. The motorists then helped Jenkins drag the driver away from the wreckage. Subsequently, they continued to put themselves in harm's way by searching the area for other occupants.
"We wanted to share an uplifting story about three special individuals," Hurst said. "In a time where everything appears to be dark and gloomy, these three individuals sure brighten it up. Three individuals from different parts of the country coming together to help someone in need."
The Mattoon Police Department reported that the motorists who assisted at the scene are Sidney Shephard of Georgia, Korine Tatroe of Illinois, and Predrag Pavlovic of Tennessee.
"We hope this message finds you and your family/friends. You are amazing individuals," Hurst said.
The Illinois State Police reported that the Coles County Sheriff's Office is handling the crash investigation. The crash report is pending.