Two motorists are alive today because of the quick thinking of a truck driver early this morning, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Colorado authorities are praising truck driver Richard Krochta for his actions on Highway, which they say took place just before 4 a.m. on Highway 24.
From the Colorado State Patrol:
“On 08-29-18, at approximately 0351 hours, Mr. Richard Krochta was traveling West on Highway 24 at milepost 282.7 in Teller County.
Mr. Krochta was driving a commercial vehicle for his company, Savage Services, to the Cripple Creek Gold Mine. Mr. Krochta observed a vehicle on fire, 15 feet off the North side of the road, a couple miles West of Woodland Park. He immediately stopped his truck and trailer, and jumped out with his fire extinguisher. While attempting to knock the fire down, he heard the driver yelling for help. Mr. Krochta was able to muscle the driver door open and pull the driver to safety. The driver informed him that there was another person inside the burning vehicle. Mr. Krochta could not initially see any other occupants due to the smoke and flames. He was able to quickly locate the other occupant, in the front passenger seat, and pull her out of the vehicle before it became fully engulfed in flames.
Northeast Teller County Fire Department Captain Brian Stimits stated the vehicle was fully involved in flames when they arrived on the scene. Captain Stimits stated that Mr. Krochta’s actions surely saved the lives of both occupants, who had sustained incapacitating injuries from the collision with a tree. Captain Stimits stated both occupants would have been consumed by the fire if they had not been pulled from the burning vehicle by Mr. Krochta.
Mr. Richard Krochta’s actions this day were truly heroic.
Savage Services is located at 2510 E. Las Vegas in Colorado Springs. The company’s headquarters is in Midvale, Utah. Savage Services just started operating in the area in February of this year. Mr. Krochta has been employed with this company for six months.
During the investigation, it was determined that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. He and his passenger (the registered owner) were traveling to Cripple Creek from Colorado Springs.
Both occupants were properly restrained by safety belts. Due to the severe fire damage inside the vehicle, we were unable to determine which air bags were deployed. No impairment, from alcohol or other drugs, is suspected in this crash.”