Men rescued from burning car on Central, near Indian Woods


A man pulled two men out of a burning vehicle which had spun out of control and knocked down a tree in the 5900 block of North Central Avenue during a reported drunk-driving incident at about 7 p.m. Friday, April 22, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police.

Ed Buckley said that the car was traveling southbound on Central when it crossed the median at the point where the street curves, hitting a 12-inch diameter tree on the east side of the street and sliding sideways until it became lodged next to a lamppost.

"I was first on the scene," Buckley said. "I could see the driver frantically trying to open the door. That pole made it impossible, as the door was jammed against it."

Buckley said that the inflated airbags made it difficult for him to pull the men out but that both eventually exited through the front passenger door. He said that during the rescue gasoline was flowing on the ground and touched his shoes and that flames from the vehicle were up to 20 feet high.

"The accident was so violent that the engine separated from the vehicle, lying on the pavement," said Buckley, who owns All Quality Construction, 6348 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Both men escaped without major injuries, Buckley said.

The driver, who was identified by police a Jimmy Marroquin, age 23, of Chicago, was charged with driving under the influence and cited for damage to public property, police said.