WHITE CO., IL (WFIE) - “I didn’t think I was gonna get out of it honestly, but I did,” said Mike Flanagan.
Mike has been a semi driver for 10 years. He said Tuesday was just like any other day.
After waiting with other cars on IL-141 for a truck to turn he was hit when a car came slamming into the back of another causing a domino affect
“Once I got it stopped I took a deep breath and then boom. I look up and the flames are all up on the window and going over the hood.”
After battling to get out of his car and going through fire, Mike rushed over to see the victim that he hit to make sure he was alright.
“We were trying to pry the door open on his pick up couldn’t get it open someone yelled that he was leaking fuel and he was, so I told them break the window break the window out we’ll bring him out through the window.”
Mike did all of this while injured. He said tons of people were around taking pictures and video but only a few actually helped out.
Since the accident all he can think of is the man he hit, John Cambron. Even though the accident wasn’t his fault, having a hand in it has taken a mental toll.
“It was pretty scary, I will say that I think I’m done driving. I was ready to retire at the end of the year and I think this has solidified my decision to give it up."
This accident is an example of the stigma Mike he has been fighting.
“Don’t be so quick to blame a semi driver for accidents when in a lot of cases its not our fault.”
Mike hopes that through this life changing experience it will remind others about what is most important.
“Don’t take it for granted it can be gone in a split second. That quick when you leave the house everyday give your spouse and children a hug and a kiss you never know it may be the last time you get to.”
John’s family said he has been recently moved from the ICU and is recovering.