Danville resident Joseph Culley was unresponsive in his vehicle when a stranger spotted smoke coming from the front end of his 2005 Prius on Monday morning. The 52-year-old had lost control of his car on Interstate 80 near Abernathy Road in Fairfield before running into a tree.
At approximately 6:20 a.m., El Cerrito resident Rory Lyons saw the smoking car on the right shoulder of the freeway and pulled over to assist. Upon contact with the vehicle, Lyons saw Culley seated in the driver seat conscious but unresponsive. Lyons unbuckled the victim's seat belt and removed him from the vehicle, pulling him to safety toward the rear of the Prius.
When California Highway Patrol Officer Carrington arrived on scene, he noticed the front-end fire had begun to grow. Carrington and Lyons moved the Danville resident to the back of the patrol vehicle before the Prius and surrounding foliage became completely engulfed in flames.
Culley was transported to North Bay Medical Center in Fairfield of evaluation of minor injuries. He has since been transported to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
According to reports, this was not Lyons' first rescue. The single father of two told reporters that he had rescued people from an apartment fire in Pittsburg, car crashes in Oakland and a motorcycle crash in Richmond.