BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — WPTV is learning more about the victims affected by Tuesday’s fiery wreck on Interstate 95 in Delray Beach.
The terrifying crash injured five people, including an off-duty Broward County firefighter, who jumped into a burning car to save his girlfriend.
Firefighter Bryan Aparicio, who was critically injured in the wreck, was moved Thursday from Delray Medical Center to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s burn unit in Miami.
Fellow firefighters are now raising money to help Aparicio and his girlfriend to help with expenses, especially since Aparicio was injured while off duty.
Aparicio was in an Uber with his girlfriend, heading to a cruise, when they were involved in the scary wreck.
Broward County firefighters said after the crash that Aparicio escaped safely but knew he had to go back into the car to get his girlfriend.
“He said he thought, ‘I cannot let her die,’ so he went back in through the flames, through the thick smoke and still couldn’t see her,” Broward Sheriff’s Office firefighter Eric Solera said. “So, he started touching around trying to find her and finally found her, grabbed her and started pulling her out.”
The couple is now recovering with second- and third-degree burns.
According to firefighters, Aparicio’s burns cover his head, face, arms and hands.
“His attitude was unbelievable, his attitude was, ‘Hey, I’m good. I’m alright. I’m hanging in there,'” Jason Smith, president of the Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, said.
Smith has helped set up a GoFundMe account for Aparicio and his girlfriend.
“His crew, immediately that he worked with, went and started this and said, ‘Hey, we don’t know what hurdles he’s going to hit,'” Smith said.
Described as a man always with a smile, even veteran firefighters are amazed at how he charged into the flames without any equipment.
“It’s incredible to me, the valor that he showed,” Solera said. “I cannot describe it any other way but him being a hero.”
Firefighters said Aparicio had undergone surgery at Delray Medical Center and was listed in critical but stable condition prior to being airlifted to Miami.
The Florida Highway Patrol said they will cite the driver who veered into the path of the fuel tanker, causing the wreck.
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