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Arkansas teacher rescues person from burning 18-wheeler tanker truck

Berryville teacher, Dave Randall says, the hands of God was on himself and the driver of the tank, because if a moment was wasted they likely wouldn’t have made it.

MADISON COUNTY, Arkansas — Dave Randall, a middle school teacher in Berryville was on his way back home. 

When he and his wife saw an 18-wheeler tanker drift off Highway 23, near the Madison/Carroll county line.

"We were just coming back from Crystal bridges," Randall said.

Randall says he and his wife immediately jumped into action after they saw the tanker rollover.

"You just react, your prayers. I just did something that needed to be done," Randall said

While walking toward the 18-wheeler, it caught on fire. However, Randall's determination to rescue the driver persisted.

"There's no thought process. You just react to it," Randall said.

After minutes of trying to save the driver, the sweltering heat from the flames and the sun got to Randall.

“It had gotten to the point where I needed to make the decision, 'do I try one more time or do I get to safety?'" Randall said. "I asked God for the strength to get him out and that's when his arm came through the window."

Randall says with the help of two other men, the driver was pulled out from the flames.

"If they wouldn't have helped me at that point, this story would've had a whole different ending," Randall said.

The rescue took about 15 minutes but felt a lot longer.

“Time kind of slows down a bit and it seemed like I had more time than what I guess I actually had."

Time was running out. Moments after the rescue, the 10,000 gallon tanker truck became fully engulfed in flames. He says he only had a few blisters.

"This is a boring story, I know," Randall said while laughing.

5NEWS has reached out to the departments that responded to the call to check on the driver’s condition. We haven't heard back.

Randall says a coworker reached out to him a few days ago saying the driver is still in the hospital.

5NEWS will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

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