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3 men rescue paralyzed man from burning van

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Updated: 9/10/2013 8:23 am
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- Forsyth County sheriff's deputies are crediting three drivers for rescuing a paraplegic man from a burning van during an accident on Georgia 400.

The accident happened about 11:30 a.m. near the Pilgrim Mill Road exit.

Channel 2's Jeff Dore went to Dawsonville to talk with one of the guys who was driving by, saw the wreck, and jumped out to help.

Investigators say the van collided with a semitrailer while both vehicles were going south on 400. A red car swerved in front of the van, T-boned it, and both vehicles went off the road.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said the driver of the van is paraplegic.

"This is a specially-built van for handicapped purposes. He is wheelchair-bound," said Forsyth County Sheriff deputy Doug Rainwater.

Three passersby risked their own lives to rescue the driver. Investigators identified them as Gary Alan McBryar of Loganville, Terry Johnson of north Fulton County, and Todd Hollaway of Dawsonville.

Hollaway is a paramedic, and was doing CPR on the woman from the red car.

"The other guy, who pulled in behind me went over to the van to help with that guy and he said 'I need help the van's on fire.' He's handicapped, he can't get out," Hollaway said.

He and others continued to do CPR on the woman in the red car but she did not survive.

The sheriff's office said her name is Maria Josefa Martinez. She was 60 years old and a custodian with Forsyth County Schools.

Video: WSB-TV Atlanta
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