RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (KOIN) — A couple from The Dalles were heading home from a hunting trip late Tuesday night when they came across a fiery crash and jumped into action.
“It looked like a small brush fire, so I had her pull over and I had a small fire extinguisher in the back of the car,” Steven Gorbet said.
The fire was actually coming from the engine of an SUV that had veered off southbound I-5 near the Ridgefield exit after running into the back of another car.
Steven’s wife, Taylor, recorded what happened next on her phone.
“In the first video, you see [Steven] spraying the fire and in my second video he realizes someone is in there and you can hear him breaking the window and then it blew up,” she said.
Steven said the victim was unconscious, which may have contributed to the difficulty of trying to rescue him. Unfortunately, despite Steven’s efforts, the driver died at the scene.
“I was pretty mad at myself,” he said. “I wish I had tried harder. I could have suffered a few burns if I got him out but the flames overwhelmed me. Maybe I just couldn’t do it or got scared or something.”
Steven may be hard on himself, but Taylor knows her husband did everything he could.
“I think he’s being too hard on himself and he jumped in there, not even thinking about his own safety,” Taylor said. “[The victim] must have been pinned down or snagged. I just feel bad that he feels that way. [He was] pretty heroic.”
The 18-year–old driver of the other car involved in the crash was not injured.