Four men pulled a driver from his burning vehicle today seconds before it was totally engulfed in flames after colliding with their cars at a North Baltimore intersection, city police said.
"These guys are heroes, no doubt about it," Officer James Eastman of the Traffic Investigation Unit said.
Officer Eastman said James Mayfield Jr., 28, of the 3600 block of Templar Road in Randallstown was listed in critical but stable condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after being rescued after the 2:30 a.m. crash at Loch Raven Blvd. and Northern Parkway.
"Mr. Mayfield was pulled from his car just before it was fully engulfed in flames," Officer Eastman said. "The fire was so quick and intense, we couldn't find the serial number on the vehicle; the temporary license plates made of compressed paper were completely burned."
According to witnesses, Mr. Mayfield's 1985 Dodge station wagon went through a red light while traveling north on Loch Raven Blvd.
The Dodge struck a 1986 Ford Mustang operated by Eric Woods, 20, of the 8000 block of Philadelphia Road.
The Mustang was slammed into a 1991 Acura driven by Tyrone Rogers, 21, of the 9000 block of Sohap Lane in Columbia, and occupied by two passengers.
The Ford and Acura were traveling west, side by side on Northern Parkway.
Officer Eastman said the Dodge caught fire and Mr. Mayfield apparently was unconscious.
The police officer said that Mr. Rogers and the two passengers in his car, Melvin Jackson, 18, and Michael Austin, 22, both students at Morgan State University, joined Mr. Woods in pulling the unconscious man from the Dodge.
"The fuel caught just after they got him out," Officer Eastman said. "If they hadn't taken their action, we would certainly be dealing with a fatality."
The others involved in the crash were not seriously injured, police said. Charges are pending against Mr. Mayfield, police said.