Family grateful for passersby who pulled man from burning truck

Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-01 00:15:21-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Two days after he crashed in a tanker truck that exploded, the parents of a Colorado man are optimistic about his recovery.

28-year-old Leslie Shelton is now in a medically-induced coma after the truck he was driving exploded near the junction of I-15 and Highway 6 in Spanish Fork on Friday afternoon, destroying the truck and everything in it. The fire raged for a long time and the roadway was closed off for parts of Friday and Saturday.

Passersby quickly pulled Shelton from the truck before flames got to him. The Sheltons say they still don't know the names of any of the people who helped pull Leslie out of the truck.

"I cannot say thank you enough to the people that stopped immediately to pull him out. If they hadn't done that and risked their lives and risked getting burned, he would not be here. What's left of the truck is a pile of metal and a melted engine. That's it," said Jerry Shelton, Leslie's father.

Shelton has third-degree burns on about 60 percent of his body. His recovery will likely be a slow one, but his parents are focusing on the miracle that he's alive.

"They're working real hard with him. It will be a few more days before they know the extent of everything with him," Jerry Shelton said. "The hospital staff here is amazing. They're amazing to him, amazing to us."

The Sheltons say they've been in contact with the highway patrol trooper in charge of the accident investigation, but they say he doesn't have the names of the good Samaritans either.

READ: Gas tanker explosion critically injures driver in Spanish Fork