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Restaurant employees race to save people from burning car in Minneapolis

Eric Chaloux
Updated: August 03, 2020 10:40 PM
Created: August 03, 2020 05:15 PM

Three friends are alive after a dramatic rescue from a burning car that was caught on tape in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood last week.

One man that was injured in the crash underwent surgery Monday afternoon for his injuries.

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Workers from the Smack Shack restaurant heard the accident and raced down the 700 Block of North Washington late Tuesday night to see flames flickering in a vehicle.

“It happened very quickly," said Taylor Stevens-Reese, one of the rescuers. "The car caught fire almost instantly."

The driver had got out of the vehicle, but a woman and man were stuck inside she said.

Stevens-Reese said she had no idea the man in need of help was Jimmy Wahl, a good friend of hers from the restaurant industry.

According to Wahl’s family he was being dropped off from work when the vehicle was rear-ended by another car.

Minneapolis Police say they believe alcohol played a factor with the driver who struck the friend’s car but add they are looking to see if that suspect vehicle may have been possibly drag racing before the incident.

Wahl, a father of a teenage daughter, was taken to the hospital where he’s undergone multiple surgeries.

“So at this point it’s just a waiting game,” said Tracy Wahl, his sister. “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed, hoping it all comes out well.”

Wahl’s family said they are very thankful for those ‘good samaritans’ who saved Jim and a friend of his who was in the car.

“I’m told if it had been 30 seconds later the whole car went up," Tracy Wahl said. "Really, really grateful that (they) got him out when they did."

“When you see there are people in there, there’s a chance to get them out, we just had to get them out," Stevens-Reese said. "I’m glad they did they are both going to be OK."

Wahl works as a bartender in Minneapolis and is expected to be out of work for some time. His family set up a fundraising page over the weekend.


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