“I Don’t Think I Could Take a Crowbar and Fold the Door Like He Did”

On 29 June 2014, Bob Renning, age 52, of Woodbury, Minnesota, noticed an SUV on fire on I-35W. Trapped inside the smoke-filled 2006 Chevy Trailblazer was Michael Johannes, age 51, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who was unable to get out — the door would not open. Mr. Renning said, “He was kicking and beating the window trying to break it open from the inside. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time.” Mr. Renning used brute force to bend the passenger-side door until the glass shattered. Mr. Johannes said, “It was just chaos. I just dove toward the light [coming in] through the window. I’m a pretty big guy and [Mr. Renning] just pulled me out.” Minnesota State Patrol trooper Zachary Hill said in a statement that Mr. Renning “did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half … to extricate a trapped person. I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive.” Mr. Johannes said, “Thirty seconds later and I would have been done.” Mr. Hill said about Mr. Renning’s action, “I don’t think I could take a crowbar and fold the door like he did.” How was Mr. Renning able to do this? He said, “I’m sure it was pure adrenaline.” Mr. Johannes said, “We’re going to take our time in selecting our next vehicle.”

For More Information: Associated Press, “Good Samaritan showed ‘super human’ strength in car rescue.” 1 July 2014


For More Information: Raya Zimmerman, “In New Brighton, driver bends car door to rescue man from blazing SUV.” Pioneer Press (Twin Cities, Minnesota). 30 June 2014; updated 1 July 2014


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