Good Samaritan saves motorcycle rider after fiery SW Wichita crash

The motorcycle burst into flames after hitting a pickup at Pawnee and Hiram,
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:42 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A motorcycle rider suffered critical injuries in a Wednesday morning fiery crash in southwest Wichita, but the 27-year-old man is expected to live, thanks in large part to the quick action of a good Samaritan.

The motorcycle burst into flames after hitting a pickup at Pawnee and Hiram, between Meridian and Seneca. Burns covered large portions of the rider’s body. The teen driver of the pickup wasn’t seriously injured.

Jacob Olson was on his way to work on a clear, sunny morning when he witnessed the violent crash.

“I had just pulled onto Pawnee, the sun was just blinding, right in the way,” Olson said.

The sun’s position in the eastern sky made it difficult for drivers to see.

“A few moments later, I see this truck pull out and at that moment, the motorcycle had hit it,” Olson said.

In a split second, Olson said, the motorcycle erupted into flames. Soon after, the pickup was also on fire.

“The gas leaking out had worked itself around and had went underneath the truck, and the whole truck went up in flames,” he said.

Olson said he saw the rider running form the motorcycle, “completely engulfed in flames.”

“I mean from head to toe, like you’d see in a movie,” he said.

The traumatic scene didn’t stop Olson. He sprang into action, grabbed his fire extinguisher, and approached the crash site.

“I pulled up as close as I could,” he said. “[The motorcycle rider] was still very much covered in flames. “Luckily [the fire extinguisher] was working, so I put out what was left of him. He was pretty burnt up, the only thing left on his body was his pants.”

Olson reflected on being at the right place at the right time.

“I’m just a prepared citizen,” he said. “Luckily I was able to help out with my can.”

Olson said he hasn’t fully processed what happened Wednesday morning.

“Hopefully I never see that again,” he said.