Logan Schrupp, who works in the oilfields, was on his way home to some sleep after finishing a 12-hour overnight shift when he saw another man standing in the road ahead, waving his arms to flag him down. Scrub saw the crashed semi lying upside-down on the side of the road, then turned on his hazard lights and pulled over.
"I noticed there was a guy hanging out the driver's side window of the semi," Schrupp said. “The door had caved in on the guy. The support on the back of the door had busted when it rolled over, so he was pinched in pretty good. I said, ‘We need to get this guy out.’ ”
There was no one else around to help; it was just Schrupp and the man who flagged him down. That man turned out to be another oilfield worker, and like Schrupp, he just happened to be driving by and saw the flipped semi. It was cold and snowing outside, and the two didn't know how long the driver had been stuck or what injuries he might have suffered in the crash. He was shivering but conscious, Schrupp said.
“He was pretty quiet. I don't think he was getting a lot of air to him, (because) he was pinched in. When I came up, all he could say was, "Help me," and he was reaching his arms out. "Schrupp and the other man, whose Schrupp only knows as Thomas, jumped into action. Thomas pulled on the driver's side of the semi, and Schrupp was able to pull the driver free.
They called 91
The crash happened at 5:55 pm. at the intersection of BIA Road 14 and Highway 22, about 20 miles north of Killdeer in Dunn County. On Friday, the North Dakota State Patrol said the crash was still under investigation. They identified the driver as 55-year-old Felix Cuello, or Eunice, New Mexico.
According to Schrupp, Cuello was visibly shaken and emotional after being pulled from the semi. Schrupp stayed with him until after the authorities arrived, bringing him up to his heated vehicle, giving him some water and using his first skills to check for any broken bones or bleeding. Remarkably, it didn't appear to have any major injuries.
Schrupp learned that Cuello, who was driving a water tanker semi, had been on his way to deliver the same drill site that Schrupp had just come from. Schrupp works for Stray Creek Services, performing water transfer services for hydraulic fracturing. The 2017 Perham High School Graduate lives in North Dakota most of the time now but still returns to Vergas on his weeks off.
Schrupp said Cuello does not speak English, but he did talk about the accident, and asked Schrupp to call his family for him.
"He kept thanking me for getting him out," Schrupp said. In minutes, multiple emergency vehicles were on site – fire trucks, an ambulance and local police, sheriff and state patrol cars. Emergency responders checked Cuello for injuries and determined that he did not need medical attention. He ended up being picked up by some friends.
The state patrol said Cuello was traveling southbound down Highway 22, attempting to turn east onto BIA Road 14, when he lost control of the semi-due to snowy conditions and the tanker trailer rolled onto its roof mid-tower.
"If he had landed on the driver's side, judging by how the passenger's side looked, it would have been dead for sure," Schrupp said. “The passenger's side door was crunched.”
Schrupp said he didn't really know what to think when he first drove up to the scene. He does a lot of driving for his job and is seen as a lot of accidents, "but when you actually get up and see that somebody in that accident, and you have to get out, it really changes your view and makes you want to stop for every single one, ”he said.
" I didn't have a lot of running through my head besides, "we gotta get this guy out at the moment," he added. “I was just thankful that we got there when we did and we got him out… It is crazy how ordinary, everyday drive can all of a sudden be extraordinary.”