SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- The bystanders had to act quickly. A motorcyclist had just collided with a car and was pinned beneath the flaming wreckage.
Disregarding their own safety, they lined up on one side of the car. And slowly, they managed to lift the roughly 4,000-pound car just high enough for one rescuer to pull Brandon Wright to safety.
They are being called "heroes" and "angels" -- their few minutes of heroics were captured on a video, which has gone viral on the Internet. "I'm just very thankful for everyone that helped me out," Wright said by telephone from his hospital bed. "They saved my life."
Most of those who helped then scattered.
"Every one of those people put their lives in danger," Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis said, adding that "you can only speculate what the outcome would have been if they hadn't lifted that car."
At a hospital news conference on Tuesday, Wright's uncle, Tyler Riggs, recounted what Wright told his family about Monday's accident.
The crash happened near Utah State University in Logan, roughly 90 miles north of Salt Lake City. Wright was headed to study at a computer lab, Riggs said. The BMW was pulling out of a parking lot.
Tire and skid marks on the highway showed that Wright laid the bike down and slid along the road before colliding with the car, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis said.
Riggs said Wright tried to protect himself by laying his bike down.
The bike hit the car's hood and bounced to the ground, while Wright, who was not wearing helmet, slid under the car and then both vehicles burst into flames, Curtis said. The video, shot by university staffer Chris Garff who had seen the smoke, shows a crowd gathering around the burning wreckage as flames shoot into the air.
Some of the rescuers are wearing construction helmets and safety vests, others sport school backpacks and at least one police officer is in the crowd. They quickly place their hands on the car and start to rock it until it tilts up.
Once the car is on its wheels, a construction worker in a hard hat and a lime green T-shirt can be seen dragging a spread-eagled Wright from under the car. Two officers then move in with fire extinguisher. A few minutes pass before paramedics start to provide Wright with medical care. It's unclear whether they had just arrived or whether they were waiting for the scene to be declared safe.