Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Oldsmar man in fiery St. Pete crash in serious condition

The Oldsmar man who was rescued from a burning van on Tuesday was in serious condition Wednesday, a spokesman at Tampa General Hospital said.

Ronald Reed, 46, lost control of his work van Tuesday afternoon. He crashed into several cars, took out a light pole and slammed into a tree near the 5000 block of Central Avenue.

Tom Burns, 57, ran toward the van. He jerked the door three times and tried to pull Reed out as a fire started, but he couldn't free the driver from the seat belt.

"Knife! Knife!," Burns shouted, and before he knew it someone was cutting Reed's seat belt. They pulled him out just before the van was engulfed in flames.

Reed suffered burns over 30 percent of his body.

Police don't know what caused the crash, but believe it might be related to Reed's diabetes.

A longtime friend, Dawn Barclay, confirmed Reed had diabetes, and said he had once hit a fire hydrant after becoming light headed.

She said he's responsive but not breathing on his own.

Burns hopes the man he helped save will recover, and said, "I'll be the guy who buys the first beer when he gets better."

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