KINGSBURY - A 67-year-old Granville woman was pulled from the fiery wreckage of her 1996 Jeep Cherokee today by a pair of good Samaritans.
Mary L. Skelton was traveling west on state Route 196 at about 11:20 a.m. when her sport utility vehicle went off the left side of the highway and careened into a ditch, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
The car flipped over multiple times until coming to rest on its wheels, police said.
As a result of the accident, Skelton was knocked unconscious and the engine caught on fire.
Police said Graig Bell, of Watervliet, and James Winters, of Hartford, pulled Skelton from the car.
"I don't think she would have survived," said sheriff's Investigator Bruce Hamilton. "That fire brewed up pretty quick."
Winters, a carpenter, was driving about four car lengths behind Skelton's car.
"It was pretty surreal," Winters said in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. "I was following behind her and she turned the wheel and went of the road pretty quick."
Bell, who was traveling in a separate vehicle, and Winters pulled over and ran to Skelton's SUV, which by that point was belching smoke from the engine.
"Me and the other guy we were pretty clear about it," he said. "We knew we had no choice once it started smoking. I just knew what to do. We just wanted to help this lady and keep her from suffering from anymore than she was."
Winters said his son Jarod, 10, directed traffic until authorities arrived.
"He didn't lose his head or nothing," Winters said.
About a two-mile stretch of Route 196 near the intersection with Hinds Road was closed for an hour while emergency crews investigated the scene and extinguished the fire.
The Fort Edward Rescue Squad and the Kingsbury Fire Department responded to the accident, police said.
The road was reopened to traffic at about 12:35 p.m. Thursday.
Skelton, who suffered head and internal injuries in the crash, was transported from the scene by medical helicopter to Albany Medical Center. Her condition was not immediately known.