Fiery motorcycle crash caught on tape

The victim is identified as Walter Rivera. He has broken bones and burns, but is expected to recover.

June 23, 2011 8:45:54 PM PDT
It started with a car making an illegal u-turn at Second Street and Wyoming Avenue, right into the path of a speeding motorcycle.

Surveillance video shows the cycle skid on its side and slammed into the side of the car.

"It flew. It was flying. It was the worst thing I ever saw," Linda Green of Feltonville said.

The motorcycle then burst into flames and the rider became trapped under the bike.

"I was horrified. My heart dropped when I saw that. It really did," witness Elijah Henderson said.

An office worker saw it all from a window. He called out to two other men. They ran out into the street and, without hesitation, they literally dove into the flames to save the motorcyclist.

SEPTA employee John Solecki and another man pulled the man from under the motorcycle.

"He was under the motorcycle. He was on fire. The motorcycle was on fire," Solecki said.

John tore off his shirt and used it to try to smother the flames.

One of the men then grabbed a fire extinguisher on his way out of the SEPTA office building.

"His legs were on fire. We were trying to get the fire out. Steve [Boon] brought the fire extinguisher out. I doused his legs and could see that they were out. And went over to try to put the fire out, but the heat of the fuel and oil was just intense. It was no match for the fire extinguisher," SEPTA employee Joe Benedict said.

The heat was so intense, the men had to drag the unconscious victim further away.

At any moment, the gas tank could have exploded, but they weren't thinking about that.

"You don't even think about it, it's just something you would do. To see somebody on fire, it's scary and you just got to help," Solecki said.

"You see a person, whether it be a brother or father, you got to help them," SEPTA employee Steve Boon said.

The victim is identified as Walter Rivera.

He has broken bones and burns, but is expected to recover.

He is lucky to be alive thanks to the three men who risked their own lives to save his.