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Four injured in South Loop crash, good Samaritans pull driver from burning vehicle

Good Samaritans pulled a driver from a burning car Wednesday night after a two-vehicle crash injured three others in the South Loop.

About 10:40 p.m., a Buick LaCrosse and Jeep Cherokee were both traveling southbound on South Columbus Drive near East Roosevelt Road, when the Buick accelerated and attempted to pass the Jeep on the right, police said.

The Buick then struck a curb, struck the Jeep, and crashed into a concrete planter, causing it to flip over and ignite, police said.

Citizens pulled the driver, a 33-year-old man, from the Buick, police said. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The man in the passenger seat of the Buick was taken to Stroger Hospital, while the driver of the Jeep was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and the woman in the Jeep’s passenger seat was taken to Northwestern, police said. As of Thursday morning, they had all been treated and released.

The man driving the Buick was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to stay in his lane and no insurance, police said.

“My buddy and I are both military guys so we’ve had a little bit of training, so we decided, ‘Hey, we should check this guy out,’ ” Tony Genovese, who was one of two good Samaritans to pull the driver out of the Buick, told reporters at the scene.

Genovese said he and his friend, who are both National Guardsmen, were westbound on Roosevelt when they saw the crash.

“We tried to talk to [the driver], we saw his car started lighting on fire, so we basically pulled him out of the car,” Genovese said.