Cleveland residents of Valley Road say they felt helpless as they watched a man burn to death, trapped inside his vehicle, one hour past midnight on Sunday morning.
According to Cleveland Police, preliminary investigation reveals a male was operating a Toyota 4 Runner SUV southwesterly on Valley Road recklessly, well in excess of the posted speed limit of 25 mph. Police say the driver failed to negotiate the curved roadway on Valley Road, traveling off the left side of the roadway, striking a utility pole in the 4200 block of Valley Road.
Police say the force of the impact caused the Toyota to spin out of control. A Dodge Nitro SUV that was also traveling southwesterly on Valley Road by a female, then collided with the out of control Toyota. It was then that police say the severely damaged Toyota burst into flames with the driver trapped inside.
Charonna Davis says that people tried to come to his aid but there was just nothing they could do to free him.
"There were guys running up to the car, calling his name but they couldn't get him out. One guy in particular kept yelling 'Get out Ray! Wake up Ray! Ray! Ray!'" says Davis.
Davis saw the accident happen.
"The passenger in the car was able to get out but the driver was knocked unconscious by the impact. Then he woke up and started screaming. We all heard him screaming while the car was on fire," says Davis.
Davis says a bystander had to hold back the victim's passenger because he kept trying to get inside the car to rescue his friend.
According to witnesses, the driver of the second car involved walked away in distress toward Broadview Road.
The driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead at the scene. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has not identified the deceased male yet.
The driver of the Dodge was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
A greater concern for everyone living on the street is the absence of a fire hydrant, which they believe could have helped in the incident.
"Had one of our homes been on fire it would've burned, too. We haven't had a fire hydrant in two and half years," says Davis.
Our Denise Zarrella spoke to witnesses and the man considered a hero for preventing two deaths by restraining the friend who put his own life in jeopardy trying to do the impossible.