New hero comes forward after tanker truck explosion

By: Alexandra Cowley

22–year–old Amanda Halbardier is studying to be a nurse at BCC. She was actually running late to class the morning she saw the tanker truck explosion in her rearview mirror

As a nursing student, Halbardier gets a fair amount of hands on training during clinicals. But she's never had the real life experience like she had on Monday.

“We're taught a lot of emergency scenarios that doesn't always happen like what happened on Monday,”explained Halbardier.

Halbardier says she was in front of the tanker on 24, taking the exit for BCC, when she heard a loud popping noise.

“I looked in my rearview mirror and I saw the smoke and the flames so I pulled over,” she said.

The tanker, carrying 11–thousand gallons of gasoline, was a ball of fire and smoke in the woods off of Route 24, but that didn't stop Halbardier. She ran right towards the wreckage, where she found the driver, Lisa Korch, being cared for by Jessie Gomez, another passerby who pulled over to get her out.

“I said well we need to move her because the fire was getting bigger, it kept popping, it popped quite a few times, it wasn't just one big explosion, it kept popping and as it did it got bigger and the trees were starting to catch on fire,” she explained.

Halbardier helped Gomez move Korch to one of their vehicles where they waited for first responders. She says Korch was showing signs of shock.

“I was in the back seat with her, just trying to see if I could see any visible injuries, and just trying to calm her down,” she said.

Korch was treated for non life threatening injuries, thanks to the fearless people who risked their lives for a stranger.

“I hope that she recovers well and comfortably and everything goes ok with her job.” smiled Halbardier.

Halbardier says there were two other women there on Monday who helped. She never got their names but wanted to thank them.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014