Media people

Night news photog saves man from fiery crash

110-crash-onscene-nbc.JPGNBC4 and On Scene TV

Austin Raishbrook, an owner of RMG News — source of a lot of the night crime and mayhem video that shows up on TV news — was photographing a stalled SUV in the fast lane on the northbound 110 Freeway early Sunday morning night when another car plowed into the stalled vehicle. The SUV burst into flames and Raishbook ran to help extricate the driver, who was unconscious and about to be burned alive.

Here's the initial crash. As you can see, the dark-colored SUV was sitting there with no lights on. This was 3:30 a.m. on New Year's Day.

From City News Service:

"It was completely blacked out," Raishbrook told CNS. "Unfortunately, some of the drivers didn't see the vehicle. First, it was side-swiped by two vehicles and then it was rear-ended by a vehicle I estimate was going at least 65 miles per hour."

Raishbrook said the impact sent the SUV careening into the center divider where it burst into flames. Raishbrook was videotaping the crash, but he said he dropped his camera when the vehicle started burning.

"I didn't know if anyone was in the SUV because it was all dark, but I grabbed my fire extinguisher and flashlight and ran to the burning car," Raishbrook continued.

"I smashed the passenger side window with my fire extinguisher and looked in but the car was nearly fully engulfed and it was hard to see through the smoke," he said. "Finally, I saw there was a man slumped over the steering wheel."

It took Raishbrook two tries to free the man from his seatbelt and get him clear of the fire. The man was taken to a hospital and has some injuries but is on the mend. Raishbrook got singed.

Raishbrook was the technical advisor for the 2014 movie "Nightcrawler" about the videographers who chase stories in late-night Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal was the star. Raishbrook made an appearance in the film, which also included LA television news people Sharon Tay, Rick Chambers, Pat Harvey, Kent Shocknek and Rick Garcia.

Added: Forgot this. In 2008, Joel Rubin of the LA Times did a Column One about Raishbook and his twin brother Howard, as the co-owners of RMG News.

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