Authorities say the heroics of an eastern Iowa man in the early morning hours on Monday saved the life of another man who had crashed his car northwest of Cedar Rapids. The accident happened at about one A.M. Monday on Interstate-380, near Center Point.
Police say the car driven by Akol Ako crossed the median, rolled several times and burst into flames. Paramedics say Akol was knocked unconscious and would have died if Ken Marsh hadn’t pulled Akol from the burning car. “I just never really thought about doing anything but running over and trying to help him get out,” Marsh says.
According to Marsh, a rush of adrenaline gave him the courage to approach the burning car. “Flames were shooting up, I don’t know, probably about six foot above the car,” Marsh says. “I grabbed ahold of the top of the door and when I pulled it, the glass shattered…I could see the flames coming in through the dash, then. I just knocked the rest of the glass out and grabbed ahold and pulled him out.” The car was completely engulfed in flames within the next minute, according to Marsh.
“I’m just glad that I pulled up when I did to help the guy out,” Marsh says. Doctors at the University of Iowa Hospital have treated and released Akol. The crash victim, who lives in Nebraska, only speaks Sudanese, so Akol wasn’t ever able to actually speak to the man who saved his life.