Shawn Duncan thought the truck in front of him on I-85 was swerving to avoid something in the roadway. Within moments, that truck had burst into flame, and Duncan was helping to save the lives of the two men inside.
The good Samaritan said he believed it was divine intervention that brought him to that spot around 9 p.m. Thursday night when the UPS truck experienced a blown tire that caused it to careen off the road, crash into a bridge support and catch fire.
Duncan was heading from his home in Anderson to work at the BMW plant in Greer when he came upon a UPS truck traveling in the right lane of the interstate.
"He was in one lane and then was in the other lane. I thought he was dodging something in the road," Duncan said.
Duncan went around the truck and then glanced in his rearview mirror to change lanes.
"I saw that he had run off of the road," he said. "By the time I stopped and got out of my car, the truck was already in flames.
"It was something like you see on television," he said.
He raced to the truck where the driver and a passenger, a co-driver for the truck, were clambering out of the broken windshield. He reached for the driver and helped haul him to safety. Another man had stopped and was helping the passenger.
"There were flames all around them as they were climbing out," Duncan said. "The whole front of the truck was engulfed in flames."
The Highway Patrol reported that the truck experienced a "tire malfunction" that caused it to drive off the right side of the road, through a guardrail and into a bridge support near milemarker 29 on I-85 north in Anderson County.
At least two lanes of the interstate were blocked for several hours after the crash.
The driver and passenger, both Illinois natives, were taken to the hospital for their injuries, according to Lance Cpl. Gary Miller of the Highway Patrol. Their conditions were unavailable.
Duncan said the driver had an obviously broken leg but was conscious and talking.
"We prayed together," he said. "I feel like God put me in place to be there at that time to help."
Once an ambulance had taken the men away, Duncan went on to work as usual, he said, and didn't mention to his coworkers what had happened.
"I really didn't tell anybody," he said. "I did what I would want somebody to do for me, and that was it."