Passing motorists—including an AP photographer—saved the lives of two women trapped in a burning SUV next to a Mississippi highway yesterday. Between 15 and 20 people came to the rescue after spotting smoke rising from a stand of pine trees. They pulled the driver's disabled sister from the vehicle first but had trouble freeing the driver. "No one had fire extinguishers," the photographer says. "We were all sure she was going to perish. The sounds of her screams and the sight of the fire inching closer to her, that was the most horrible and helpless feeling I've ever felt in my life."
The rescuers flagged down passing truckers in a desperate search for fire extinguishers. After a pickup truck pulled the SUV out of the valley where it had landed and a cement truck with a water hose joined the rescue effort, the motorists used crowbars to pry open a jammed door and free the driver. "She was so blessed that mixer had a water hose," one rescuer says. "I know that saved her life." A highway patrol spokesman praised the efforts of the passers-by. "We greatly appreciate those who stopped because sometimes there are accidents when nobody stops," he said.