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Two People Injured After Car Crash And Fire

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By Paul Johnson

Garden City, Idaho (KBOI) -- Two people were sent to the hospital after their car caught on fire from crashing into a pole on State Street.
Idaho State Police said it happened just before 11 p.m. Tuesday, near the intersection of State and Glenwood. Troopers said alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The Boise driver of a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice, 23-year-old Nathaniel McDonald, was speeding westbound down State Street, when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a power pole, Idaho State Police says. McDonald then sideswiped a female driving a 2012 Mazda 3, and then smashed into another power pole. While wrapped around the second power pole, the Caprice caught on fire.
Both McDonald and his passenger, Paula Swindell, 23, of Emmett, were wearing their seat belts and were taken to the hospital. Another Trooper, Corp. Scott Tulleners, saw the crash happen and said McDonald was unconscious when he pulled up, and Swindell looked to be in a lot of pain.
Tulleners said he saw McDonald speed by him on State Street right before the crash. He followed the Caprice, but the car crashed before he could get to them. He immediately sprang into action when he saw the car burst into flames.
"My initial reaction was to grab the fire extinguisher that we all carry in our trunks to get the flames out," Tulleners said. "I was worried if it hit the fuel line, the car would completely be engulfed. Fortunately, I was able to put the fire out before it spread further."
Firefighters pulled the two from the car using jaws of life.
A neighbor near the crash said she was sitting at home when she heard a loud boom and then saw smoke.
"The car is pretty messed up," Cynthia Carpenter said. "I mean, it's bad. It took them a long time with the jaws of life to get 'em out."
A coordinator at Saint Alphonsus hospital said Swindell is in stable condition, and McDonald's condition is unknown at this time.
The drive of the Mazda 3, Tanna Bell, 25 of Middleton was not hurt.

Photos courtesy of KBOI-TV.


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