Two people are dead after a fiery early-morning crash in south redding. It happened just before two at the corner of Highway 273 and Bueneventura Boulevard. A Honda slammed into a UPS tractor trailer and both vehicles erupted in flames. Both those killed were in the Honda. Their names have not been released. The man who drove the UPS truck miraculously survived.
“Well however it happened. It was immediate and it was intense. The tractor was fully engulfed, it wasn't like it was collision and then a fire started, it was fully engulfed immediately,” said UPS Driver John Abraham.
Abraham had just began his 150-mile drive to the coast Thursday morning when his truck was broadsided and burst into flames.
“Because of the seatbelt, I was able to pull myself up and know where I was in the cab immediately,” said Abraham.
He tried to escape, but the impact of the crash had jack-knifed the trailer and his driver's door was pinned shut.
“You have to remember I am trying to shield my face because everything is burning, and its wafting and flying around inside, all this flame,” said Abraham.
He moved to the second escape route, the passengers door.
“It just would not open, I could hear the latch work but it would not open,” said Abraham.
Pulsing with adrenaline as he struggled to escape, John wondered why the flames were not burning him.
“I touched the latch and the door popped right open, and when that happen, there was a big gulp of air in the cab which caused an immediate flare up,” said Abraham
John was thrown clear of the cab and landed on his feet in a sea of flames on the pavement.
“Officer Duval was there immediately and helped me to extinguish myself with a lot of rolling and patting,” said Abraham.
He was left with 2nd degree burns on 10 percent of his body, but all things considered, he was lucky.
“As a family, we have the grief we feel for the families of the other victims, was, we are all feeling that right now,” said Abraham.
Police say the Honda that caused this accident was traveling at about 100 miles per hour, and ran a red light. They likely never saw the ups truck turning in front of them, and did not have time to react.