On April 25, a homeless man named Darin Barton was sitting near I-70 outside of Denver, Colorado, in the same place he panhandles nearly every day.
But when a chain-reaction crash involving 24 vehicles and four semi-trucks lit up the highway in front of Barton, the man dropped his cardboard sign and went running towards the flames.
Barton told KDVR that he witnessed a semi-truck collide with vehicles on the freeway and saw the cab of the truck roll over.
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“As soon as it rolled over, it just caught on fire,” Barton said. “And I just dropped my sign, took off running.”
“As soon as I [saw] flames, I headed under the bridge, grabbed three or four people out of a couple cars,” Barton said.
Josh McCutchen, who witnessed the horrific crash and got it on video, said he saw Barton pulling people out of cars.
“That’s a true hero,” McCutchen told CNN.
As word of Barton’s heroic actions spread, a man named Dan Bass set up a GoFundMe campaign to help get Barton back on his feet after years of living on the streets.
“Homeless Hero Darin Barton was on the corner panhandling when the accident occurred and ran into the flames and successfully saved the lives of multiple individuals who were trapped in their vehicles,” Bass wrote. “This hero not only deserves the support, but needs it!”
In addition to the fundraising campaign, KDVR has set up an Amazon wishlist for Visa gift cards and various fast food gift cards. The news station has committed to ensuring Barton receives the gift cards.
Barton was quick to mention that he was not the sole good Samaritan who helped on the I-70 that day.
“I didn’t do this all myself. There were other people in traffic that helped,” Barton said.
“I just did what I hoped anybody would’ve done if I was sitting down there.”
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