BOISE, Idaho — Abe Abrahamson pulled a man out of a burning vehicle just moments before it exploded into flames near Kingman, Arizona on December 28.
Abe and his wife were traveling to visit family members when they came up on a single-vehicle crash on Highway 93 near the junction of Highway 68.
“We were just motoring down the road listening to the radio,” Abe. “We saw a car that crashed on the inside of the road, I got out of the car and there were two guys already there and I said who was in the car? They were like he is still in the car.”
Abe Abrahamson has dedicated his life to service, he served in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War. He served in the Idaho National Guard and went on to become the Commander of the Idaho America Legion.
“I turned and looked at the car and the engine compartment and the gas tank are already on fire,” said Abe.
If you know Abe you are probably not surprised that he went into the burning car to get the driver out.
“While I was in there the battery exploded in front of the car so my wife is yelling at 911 to get people there to help and yelling at the guys at the side of the road because they were just standing there watching,” said Abe. ” One guy just said he was scared.”
After attempting to cut the man loose from his seat belt Abe ended up smashing the sunroof in order to click the man out of his seat belt in order to drag him out of the car before it really burst into flames.
“It’s like that fire just took off, it went up the hill, came down the hill and tires started exploding,” said Abe. “It was getting hot where we were sitting so we decided to pick him up and put him in the backseat of my car and I drove down the freeway another 50 to 75 feet.”
After that authorities arrived on the scene and airlifted the driver to Las Vegas where he was treated for severe burns. A representative of the Arizona Department of Public Safety confirmed that a lone driver was trapped inside the vehicle when a passing motorist pulled him out.
“It is the military training, people in the military are trained to jump in and do what they have to do to protect others,” said Robin Abrahamson, who witnessed the event firsthand. “To see him on the ground with the car on fire and pulling the person out was a little traumatic, but I’m so proud of him.”
It’s a story of a local veteran from Idaho saving someone’s life while on vacation during the holidays.
We have done a number of different stories with Abe and the American Legion, including one last winter where we rode snowmobiles up to a ridge to put up new flags.
“It’s just part of the positivity that veterans bring to communities,” said Abe.