On Monday, a semi-truck rear-ended a motor home along I-10 near the Maricopa-La Paz County line. Both vehicles caught fire. Everything in the motor home was scattered in the area. A car being towed was engulfed in flames.
A fellow trucker, John Randel, witnessed the collision and ran over to help. He located the big rig driver, called 911 and helped him get to safety.
Randel then went to the wreckage of the motor home.
"And I find Mr. Romie Tanner slumped over the steering wheel..he was breathing, barely conscious," he said.
A medical helicopter transported Tanner to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix -- in serious condition.
Randel also rescued the man's dog, named Willie.
"Going against company policy, I went ahead and just took the dog with me and figured..I'll suffer the consequences later if there are any and my usual run to California and back and dropped dog off, so Willie here can be brought up to the animal hospital and be checked out for the night."
The staff examined Willie at Sunburst Animal Hospital near 51st Avenue and Thunderbird in Glendale.
"He seemed to have a little bit of pain in his shoulder area and neck area, so probably just from being thrown around and after the accident, he was a little sore," said Sandra Prout.
Randel says this wasn't the first time Willie had a near-death experience.
"10 years ago, he was hit by a car -- breaking his back, losing his eye. He's probably paralyzed from his back down. Willie was also moved to the Caribbean, was there for a few years..he suffered a back injury, broke his back again."
Randel tells FOX 10 that Tanner lost his wife of 40 years to brain cancer three years ago. He says Tanner lived in his motor home in northern California and was traveling to Florida to live with his grandchildren. Tanner lost everything, including his late wife's jewelry and a cross.
"I'm hoping everybody can help..with some donations, you know, to help out Mr. Tanner and Willie here so he can make a full recovery."
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