Boy, 5, saves toddler brother after highway crash kills dad

HOUSTON • A five-year-old boy saved his younger brother, a two-year-old toddler, from the burning wreckage of an accident that killed their father, American media reports said.

The father was driving an 18-wheeler trailer when it crashed into a guard rail and then a concrete pillar on a highway in Houston, Texas, on Friday, the New York Daily News reported.

The truck tipped over and the cabin burst into flames, but the five-year-old boy, who has not been named, told police officers that he pulled his younger brother out of the fire.

Their father died at the scene after he was apparently thrown out of the vehicle during the impact. His identity is being withheld until it is verified by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

"The five-year-old actually advised us that he pulled his two-year-old little brother out from the 18-wheeler wreckage," a police officer told TV news channels. "He's a trooper - he was ejected and he was sitting down and talking to us... He helped us out a lot to piece together a lot of things."

The boy told police that the family was moving to Galveston, Texas, and that his mother was driving ahead of them in a different vehicle. Police were working to reunite the woman with her children.

Mr Dhaval Shah, a hotel manager who saw the crash, said he helped carry the two boys away from the burning wreckage.

He told the Houston Chronicle: "I panicked. Nobody was here, no cops, nothing. Not a single person.

"And then I saw the little kid running around. I just started trembling. I didn't know what to do."

He grabbed both boys and waited for the police to arrive, said a KPRC news report.

The older boy suffered minor injuries, while his brother has some "severe burns". Both were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

They are expected to recover.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'Boy, 5, saves toddler brother after highway crash kills dad'. Print Edition | Subscribe