Bystanders rescued a woman who was trapped in a burning car following a two-car crash near Harvard that left her seriously injured and another man critically injured.
The Harvard Fire Protection District and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded at 11:20 a.m. Sunday to the area of Big Foot Inn, 11508 Route 14 in unincorporated Harvard, for a vehicle crash.
While crews were responding, numerous 911 callers reported one of the vehicles was rolled over and catching on fire with a woman still inside, Harvard Fire Protection District Spokesperson Alex Vucha said.
Additional ambulances from the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District and Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District, as well as a fire engine and a water tender from Walworth Fire/Rescue in Wisconsin, were dispatched to the scene.
Two medical helicopters were also requested.
Firefighters arrived in minutes and found two sedans involved in the crash with one fully engulfed in flames, Vucha said.
Crews later learned that bystanders rescued the woman from the burning vehicle seconds before emergency crews arrived.
Firefighters extinguished the fire while other crews simultaneously extricated a man from the other vehicle within 20 minutes, Vucha said.
The man was airlifted to Javon Bea Hospital – Riverside in Rockford with critical, life-threatening injuries.
The woman was airlifted to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford with serious injuries.
Both victims were the drivers and sole occupants of their vehicles, Vucha said.
Route 14 was closed in both directions for nearly five hours while the sheriff’s office investigated.
The sheriff’s office has not yet released a statement on the incident.