2 rescuers pull teen from fire in minivan Driver had fallen asleep

vehicle slammed into tree

March 31, 1997|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Whenever Crystal Durant read news stories about people dying in raging fires, she always wished she could have been there and done something to help. She got her chance early Saturday.

Durant and her brother Reginald, 15, were driving home from a friend's house about 2 a.m. and were southbound in the 3200 block of Loch Raven Blvd. when they saw that a 1988 Plymouth minivan had crashed into a tree and caught fire.

Other motorists drove by, rubbernecking but not stopping. But the Durants, who live in the 1200 block of Valley St., stopped and ran from their car and pulled an 18-year-old Morgan State University freshman from the vehicle.

"I didn't even have time to think about anything," said Crystal Durant, 19, a Baltimore telemarketing representative. "I was like, 'Hello, we've got to get him out of there because the car is going to blow up.' "

The accident occurred when Michael Jones of the 2200 block of Walshire Ave. fell asleep while driving north on Loch Raven, heading home, according to police.

No ticket was issued, officers said.

Jones was in fair condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recovering from a bruised spleen, lacerations and bruises, his parents said.

His mother, Diane Jones, said it scares her to think what might have happened if Crystal and Reginald Durant hadn't stopped.

"It was a real blessing," said Jones, a homemaker. "It's really such a miracle. He wouldn't have been here otherwise."

The brother and sister are flattered at the Joneses' appreciation but said they only did what instinct told them.

Reginald, a sophomore at Carver Vocational-Technical High School, said he became frustrated when he saw the wreck and "a few cars slowed up like it was a show or something, then they pulled away like nothing happened."

He added: "I was scared, but I didn't want him to get hurt or die or anything. I would have felt real bad if he had died."

Crystal Durant said she's happy that she and her brother have made new friends.

When Crystal Durant's mother met Diane Jones at the hospital yesterday, they made plans for the two families to have dinner after Michael Jones recovers.

Pub Date: 3/31/97

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