SAPULPA, Oklahoma -

Sapulpa police said a seatbelt and quick action saved a truck driver's life after a fiery crash with an SUV going the wrong way down I-44.

The FedEx driver, who is from Sapulpa, told police his truck burst into flames immediately after the crash. As his cab dangled from the highway bridge, he jumped several feet to the ground.

"He knew he had just a few seconds to jump out,” Lt. Troy Foreman said.

In those frantic seconds, Curtis Thompson was able to quickly unbuckle his seatbelt. Foreman said wearing a seatbelt likely saved Thompson’s life.

"It kept him in place,” Foreman said. “Once the truck came to a stop, he was able to undo it, exit out to where if he wouldn't have had that on, he could have been knocked unconscious and then burned up."

Covered in diesel, Thompson tried to get as far away from his truck as he could. Foreman said a woman at the scene, a good Samaritan, didn't hesitate to help him.

"She actually risked her life getting up close to the truck with the diesel, it being on fire and helping him to get to safety.” Foreman said.

The crash happened where Route 66 and I-44 merge heading eastbound into Tulsa. It backed up traffic for hours while officers investigated.

Police say 31-year-old Marshall Douglas was driving the SUV that hit the truck driver. He died at the scene.

 

 

Officers are still investigating and trying to figure out why Douglas was going down the highway the wrong way. ODOT said it's working on a plan to fix a barrier damaged in the crash. They aren’t sure yet when repairs will begin.