A man who ran towards a fire to save a trucker stuck in his burning rig last month says God put him there to rescue the driver. The wreck happened last month in Albany, Oregon, but the two still visit each other frequently as the truck driver continues to recover.
According to Statesman Journal, truck driver Terence Jay Shaw was driving on northbound Interstate 5 on the morning of September 1st when he lost control and crashed into an overpass. The force of the impact set his rig on fire and the truck erupted into flames.
As the truck burned with Shaw still inside, Chuck Zeitler came upon the wreck from the southbound side of I-5. Zeitler saw the flames and heard someone screaming for help, so he laid down his motorcycle and rushed to the scene of the fire, pushing through a crowd of people videoing the incident on their phones.
Zeitler ran up to the truck and pulled Shaw out of the burning wreckage and away from the fire. The truck then exploded.
A Lasting Friendship is Formed
Since then, Shaw has been recovering in the burn unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where Zeitler visits him frequently.
“We’re best friends now, only because my relief was stuck in traffic, so I had to wait for him to arrive. If I’d have left at the regular time, I never would have happened upon the wreck.”
– Zeitler humbly explains how circumstances led him to rescue the trucker and gain a best friend.
Despite the praises from the Shaw family, who now consider Zeitler a hero, Zeitler says that it was God who put him in the right place at the right time and that he was just acting on his instincts after 24 years as a Navy boiler operator.
Zeitler is an elder member of Fusion Faith Center in Albany and recently became a pastor. He plans on opening a church for bikers soon, as he believes it is his “calling.”
Shaw is still recovering from the wreck. He has had multiple skin grafts on his right arm and side and currently has 23 stitches.
Image from livetrucking.com.