Dash Cam Captures Rescue from Fiery SUV in Southern Minnesota

Updated: 05/14/2014 7:57 AM
Created: 05/13/2014 4:47 PM
By: Kate Renner

A rescue in southern Minnesota during strong storms last week was caught on video by a police car dash camera.

A Jackson, Minnesota, woman survived getting struck by lightning in her SUV; a Lake Crystal police officer and a Good Samaritan came to help pull her from the burning SUV last Wednesday.

After lightning struck Anna Smith's trailblazer, flames shot out from under her hood while she was stuck inside.

"There was no way I could unlock anything. Windows weren't working, nothing," Anna Smith said.

Smith called 911, and Officer Chris Burban ran to help her.

"My whole thought was 'Gotta get her out, no one's going to burn to death if I can do anything about it,'" said Officer Chris Burban, Lake Crystal Police.

Burban smashed the window with a tool, and Officer Burban and another driver who stopped to help, grabbed her arms and pulled her through the broken window.

We showed Smith the video of her rescue; she had not yet seen it.

"Oh wow, that must have been when it flashed and went further the fire," Anna Smith said.

She's grateful for the heroic work of Officer Burban, who rescued her, and the tools she needs for her career as a massage therapist.

"The thing too that he did, was he got my oil bag out. I'm starting to lose it. Geez," Anna Smith said.

"I got lucky, she got lucky, I'll take luck," Officer Burban said.

Now Smith is looking for the good Samaritan, who left without introducing himself.

"I'd like to meet him and just say 'thank you," Anna Smith said.

The good Samaritan was identified Tuesday by the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office as 18-year-old Michael Smith, from Le Sueur.

Both Anna Smith and Officer Burban are recovering from minor scratches from the broken window. "I feel like I had a guardian angel with me to get me out," Anna Smith said.

This night she really had two.

Officer Burban estimates the SUV exploded just a few minutes after Smith got out of the vehicle.

Video courtesy of Mankato Free Press
18-year-old Michael Smith from Le Sueur has been identified as the good Samaritan that helped in the rescue.
Photo: Michael Smith/ Facebook

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

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MN AREAS AFFECTED: Dakota; Hennepin; Ramsey; Scott
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