Man helps save woman's life after pickup truck crash in Center Line

Rob Thornton hailed as hero

By Guy Gordon - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

CENTER LINE, Mich. - Rob Thornton doesn't want to be called a hero, but he is one.

Seconds made the difference between life and death on a rainy night in Center Line. Thornton, who owns a car repair business and was taking a client's car for a test drive, saw a crash site a block away from his business.

A pickup truck had been turning the corner on a wet road when investigators believe it climbed the power pole's guide wire. That caused the truck to flip onto the passenger side and caused live lines to be pulled onto the wet pavement.

Thornton heard cries for help. While officers checked to see if power lines had energized the overturned truck, Thornton noticed the victims were touching the steel door without incident and assumed it was safe. He climbed on top of the truck.

Police said a man hoisted a woman to Thornton and he brought her safely to the ground.

Seconds later, a transformer exploded and dropped more wires around the truck, completely engulfing it in flames.

An elderly man was killed in the fire, but his sweetheart of 20 years will recover from smoke inhalation, thanks to Thornton and other first responders.

Police said the victims and their rescuers could have been killed by fire, electrocution and explosion.

For Guy Gordon's full story, click on the video above.

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