Man pulls driver from burning car, passenger left behind

Posted at 12:15 AM, Jun 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-20 00:15:11-04

Hanover, Va. (WTVR) Investigators have identified the woman killed in a weekend crash that sent six people to the hospital.

Mary Hoover died just after the car she was riding in, driven by Richard Lawrence, slammed head-on into an SUV with four passengers—all who suffered minor injuries.

Investigators have charged Lawrence, age 56, with Driving Under the Influence.

Tonight, CBS 6 spoke with a man who came upon the crash scene before emergency responders arrived, and risked his life to save a complete stranger.

“The car was on fire and it was getting worse by the minute” said Michael Glovier.

He was on his way home Saturday night when he came upon an accident on Pole Green Road in Hanover. A red Saab had just slammed into a Chevy Blazer head-on, confirmed deputies.

“There were people running, smoke, people screaming,” he said.

While others helped a woman and the young children-- ages two, six and seven--in the Chevy Blazer, Glovier and another man pulled the driver out of the burning, smoke-filled car.

“He seemed dazed, and completely out of it,” said Glovier. “We had asked him if he had anything to drink and he said yes, he had been drinking that evening.”

But what deputies say that Lawrence failed to tell Glovier was that there was a passenger in the car.

“I was devastated. He didn't mention it. You couldn't tell by the wreckage there was another person in that car,” said Glovier.

Her neighbor, Mark Crumpton said that Hoover moved into the neighborhood three years ago after her husband passed away in Florida.

“I bought her a potted flower to welcome her into the neighborhood,” he said. Crumpton said that every time he passes by Hoover’s house, it seems almost surreal that she is no longer there.

“She'll be greatly missed. A very kind person,” Crumpton said.

Meanwhile, deputies say Lawrence is charged with driving under the influence but could face additional charges pending the outcome of an investigation.

Crumpton says Hoover was a teacher, and had family in Richmond.