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Driver pulled from car moments before explosion in Kingsessing

Click to watch the report from Action News
October 2, 2013 4:40:56 AM PDT
A 26-year-old woman is alive thanks to the quick thinking and bravery of several people in the Kingsessing section of Philadelphia.

An alleged drunk driver almost claimed her life - Good Samaritans saved it.

Around 10:30 p.m. Monday, Camille Hoilett was headed home in her Kia from her college classes. She was making a turn at the intersection of 51st and Cedar when she saw a Nissan Altima approaching at high speed, slamming into her, and forcing her into an out of control spin.

Hoilett tried to get out on the side, but to no avail.

When neighbors came to her rescue, they were able to help her out of the passenger door and to the sidewalk.

One of those who came to her aid was Adela-Abdul Shahid, a trained nurse from Bosnia who moved to the United States four years after marrying an American.

"She was bleeding somewhere from her head. There was a lot of blood, so I wasn't sure from where," Shahid said.

But soon they sensed more danger as the car was smoking.

In the nick of time, they decided to move her away from the smoldering vehicle.

"I was asking someone to bring out an ironing board because I was planning on putting her on the ironing board, but the fire already started in the car. So we decided to lift her and try to go as careful as we can," Shahid said.

Within moments, fire broke out and then a huge explosion that would have engulfed Camille Hoilett had she not been moved by neighbors to safety down the street.

She was eventually taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, Action News spoke with her mother Yvnonne Gardner, who has been at her bedside.

"She could not get the door open and some wonderful person came up and opened up the door for her and helped her out of the car," Gardner said.

Doctors at HUP have concluded that Hoilett will need major surgery on her pelvis. It is scheduled for later this week.

Police say after striking Hoilett's car, the Altima then struck a second vehicle, a 2012 Ford Escape, which was parked nearby.

The male driver of the rented Altima then got out of the vehicle and fled the scene on foot, leaving a 21-year-old female passenger behind. She was uninjured in the incident.

Surveillance video shows the alleged drunk driver of the Altima walking around the scene last night. Police say he had returned to the scene after fleeing, but was subsequently arrested.

That man is identified as 25-year-old Christopher Boozer, from the 600 block of South Conestoga Street. Boozer is charged with DUI, Aggravated Assault While DUI and related offenses.


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