Video footage captured a group of fishermen running to a burning SUV to rescue the victim from the car.
The footage was captured by surveillance cameras and shows the scene outside Nature Coast Marine in Spring Hill on Nov. 29.
Allen Sherrod was part of the group that sprinted over and was able to rescue the driver using crowbars and fire extinguishers.
“They’re hardworking fisherman. They work offshore. They face danger every day. They’re 36 inches from death all night long and so I jumped in with them. We did everything we could,” Sherrod told Fox 13.
The driver was identified as Andrew Biggart, 42, of Spring Hill. He was rushed to Tampa General in critical condition.
Sherrod said that the driver was conscious during the thrilling rescue.
“I looked him in the eye a couple times, grabbed his hand, said, ‘Hang in there. We’ll get you out,’” said Sherrod.
Kathryn Birren, the owner of Nature Coast Marina, told Storyful that the fishermen work for the company and heard a loud bang, prompting them to rush over to see what they could do to help.
She confirmed Biggart was conscious but was pinned and couldn’t move.
“They were telling him he was going to be OK and keeping him calm. It was four minutes from the time of the accident until the fire department arrived,” she said. “They saved his life.”
A close friend of the victim launched a GoFundMe, saying, “Andy would do anything for anyone, no matter what, no questions asked.”
“Andy was in a horrific car accident last week, but miraculously survived. The impact was so violent that his car caught fire. A number of commercial fishermen and bystanders ran to pull him out of his burning vehicle. True heroes that surely saved his life,” the friend, Matt Manuel, wrote.
“He was taken to the local emergency room and immediately transferred to the best trauma center in the southeast, Tampa General Hospital. Unfortunately, they were unable to immediately identify him so he came into their care as ‘Sage Doe,'” he continued.
Biggart was identified the next day after doctors completed a seven-hour surgery to repair his badly broken right leg and other injuries, including broken ribs and a broken clavicle and burns on his arms, legs, and hands. The surgeons thought at one point they might have to amputate his right leg.
“Andy is strong and continues to fight for his life. He is scheduled to undergo numerous surgeries to repair fractures and other injuries. His surgeons say these procedures will go on for months. If all goes well, he will be in rehabilitation for about a year with a chance to heal, recover, and return to something close to the life he knew,” Manuel wrote.
“Please help Andy in any way you can (no gift is too small) as he embarks on a long journey to recovery. Feel free to share this on your own social media if you feel it will reach more of Andy’s friends and other giving hearts. If you cannot donate, Andy and his family will appreciate any prayers and good thoughts you can give toward his healing,” he continued.