Photojournalist and cameraman Austin Raishbrook is being hailed as a hero after the veteran news photographer ran across a California freeway on New Year’s Eve to pull a man out of his burning SUV, ultimately saving his life.
Raishbrook, a freelancer and owner of breaking news company RMG News, pulled off to the side of the road and got out his video camera when he saw an SUV stalled in the fast lane of the 110 Freeway on Sunday morning. First one car, then another side-swiped the SUV, disabling the car’s rear lights. Then, break lights out and flashers off, the inevitable happened: a car plowed into the SUV at full speed.
This is when, as Raishbrook put it, he switched from cameraman mode to rescuer mode. He jumped out of his car, grabbed the fire extinguisher and flashlight out of his trunk, ran across the freeway, and proceeded to save the man’s life by wrenching him out of the burning rubble of his car.
Raishbrook has told the story to several local news stations. You can see his interview with KTLA 5 below:
Fortunately, this harrowing story has a happy ending. The driver Raishbrook saved is OK and expected to be released soon. As for Raishbrook, this unforgettable experience still seems surreal.
“That two minute experience,” he tells CBS Los Angeles, “is going to last the rest of my life.”