Passersby rescue woman from burning car on Route 191 in Plainfield

Posted: 5:38 PM EDT May 14, 2013

A Northampton County woman is alive because of four complete strangers who jumped in to rescue her from a raging car fire Monday night. One of them said she had a very personal reason for coming to the rescue.

Jennifer Trinkley was driving down Route 191 in Plainfield Township when she saw a ball of flames.

"I thought I saw a pole on fire. Turned out, it was a car," she said.

A woman was trapped inside, surrounded by flames and live power lines.

"You could just hear her beating on on the roof of the car screaming, 'Help!'" said Trinkley. "And there was a gentleman walking back towards his vehicle and I said, 'Is everybody okay?' And he's like, 'No, there's someone trapped.'  I was like, 'Well, we got to get them out.'  And he's like, 'Well no, not with the wires and the fire.'"

Trinkley reached in her trunk for the only things she had: her son's Boy Scout shovel.

"Another gentleman had pulled over and grabbed a baseball bat out of his trunk and a fire extinguisher," she said.  "Finally, the other gentleman that was with him grabbed the hatch and ripped it open, and she was able to get out."

Trinkley doesn't use the word "hero" lightly.

"It's not about being a hero; it's about doing what's right," she said.  "I couldn't sit there and listen to her burn to death."

Trinkley said she was just paying it forward.

"Someone saved my life when I was a kid, when I was hit by a drunk driver, and I'm practicing what I preach."

Authorities have not identified the woman Trinkley and the others rescued. She said, amazingly, the woman did not appear to suffer any burns.