Updated 03/27/13 – 12:04 p.m.
RANTOUL, Ill. (CBS) – Ethan Asofsky thought he was going to suffocate when he became pinned under a car along I-57, after his own car slid off the highway and another car struck him, but he’s alive and well thanks to a trio of Good Samaritans, including a state trooper.
“I really thought I wasn’t going to get out from under there,” the University of Illinois journalism student said Wednesday, a day after he was released from the hospital. “I am about the luckiest person in the world right now.”
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports Asofsky’s car skidded into a ditch along I-57 near Rantoul on Monday during a snowstorm that buried parts of central Illinois in a foot or more of snow. Several other vehicles also slid off the road, including one that hit his car.
As Asofsky was walking up an embankment, a Dodge Caliber lost control and started heading toward him. He tried to run, but the SUV was faster, and landed on top of him. Asofsky ended up with his face planted against the bottom of the SUV.
“I just kept screaming, and then realized I was running out of air,” he said. “It’s an absolute miracle that I have no internal bleeding, I have no broken bones. I have a huge gash on my side that’s about 18 stitches, but that will heal. My face is blown up right now.”
Illinois State Trooper Brian Scott was patrolling along that icy stretch of I-57 when he saw the SUV hit Asofsky. He raced across the highway, being careful not to get hit himself, and tried unsuccessfully to lift the car off Asofsky on his own.
Then he had the man and woman inside the Caliber get out to reduce the weight, and enlisted the help of that man and another Good Samaritan into lifting the car off Asofsky, while Asofsky’s fraternity brother, Mike Hairgrove, grabbed his legs and pulled him out from under the car.
“I turned to Ethan’s fraternity brother, and I said we’re going to do ‘3, 2, 1, lift,’ and you pull,” said Scott, a former Fighting Illini lineman.
Asofsky was sent to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, was treated for his injuries, and was released on Tuesday.
He said he’s very thankful to everyone who helped save his life.