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Construction workers run down hillside to save woman from burning car

Published: Friday, Aug. 10 2012 1:06 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman whose car rolled about 400 feet down a steep hillside near Ensign Peak before catching fire is alive thanks to the help of five construction workers who rushed to her aid.

"They pulled her out of the burning vehicle and they are heroes," said Salt Lake Fire spokesman Jasen Asay.

About 7:30 a.m. Friday, a vehicle went off scenic Churchill Drive, near 1000 North and 100 East, rolled down a steep embankment, over Sandhurst Drive, and continued rolling down a second embankment.

Josh Jessop was framing a house with four other workers nearby when the accident happened.

"We were like, 'What the heck?'" he said.

All five construction workers then followed the same path the wrecked vehicle took, running down the steep and rough terrain, to get to the burning car.

"We all run down there and the car's on fire and there's a woman in the car and she's unconscious at first," he said.

When the 33-year-old woman, whose name was not immediately released, regained consciousness, she began to scream because the fire was near her legs at that point, and moving quickly.

"(The construction workers) used their hammers, any tools that they had to pry open the door and pull the woman out of the burning vehicle," Asay said.

She was conscious when she was transported to the hospital. Her only injuries were  a seatbelt burn and singed hair, he said.

"If we would have come any later she would have been dead for sure," Jessop said.

The vehicle fire also started a small grass fire that was quickly brought under control. The fire burned under an acre.

The investigation into what caused the vehicle to go off the side of the road was on-going Friday.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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