The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate the cause of a car fire that sent the driver to an area hospital Monday evening.
The driver, Robert (Robbie) Reeder, 29, of rural Vienna, escaped serious injuries thanks to the quick actions of a young man.
The incident was reported at around 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 1 on a remote section of Casey Springs Lane, approximately one mile west of Rt. 147.
Ten-year old Gordy Muckle discovered the burning vehicle while out 4-wheeling.
Gordy is a fourth grade student at Vienna Grade School.
“I saw a man scraping at the ground with his feet trying to stomp out the fire,” Gordy told The Vienna Times.
Gordy said he quickly returned to his home, located at the intersection of Casey Springs Lane and Rt. 147, to tell his mother that a car was “on fire.”
His mother, Shannon Muckle Owens, first thought it was an April Fools joke. But, Gordy managed to convinced her otherwise.
The two returned to the vehicle to find Reeder lying on the ground near the vehicle with his legs surrounded by flames.
Owens, a registered nurse at Heartland Regional Medical Center, said “He appeared to have passed out.”
She instinctively pulled Reeder to a safe distance from the fire.
“I heard the tires popping and a large explosion while I was pulling him,” she said.
Owens said the car then became fully engulfed in flames.
Casey Springs Lane is a narrow one-lane county road that ends at Casey Springs Church and cemetery. The church has not been used for several decades.
Because of the narrow roadway, firefighters had to wait to reach the scene until the ambulance returned to the highway.
Johnson County Ambulance Service transported Reeder to Heartland Hospital in Marion.
According to his mother, Cathy Reeder, Robbie Reeder was treated and released with only minor burns to a hand.