Truck driver rescues two from burning vehicle

Virginia State Police say a truck driver saved the lives of two people when he pulled them from a burning vehicle early Thursday morning at the intersection of U.S. 522 and Tasker Road in Frederick County.

Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler of the state police identified the two victims as Ryan Lee Lagodich, 24, of Winchester, and Zachary Lee Combs, 22, of Middletown.

Tyler said Bernal Chamberlain, a truck driver from Florida, pulled Lagodich and Combs from a 2006 Chevrolet passenger car at about 2:30 a.m. after the car hit an electrical power box in front of a Wal-Mart store.

Tyler said the car, driven by Lagodich, was southbound on U.S. 522 when Lagodich attempted to make a right turn onto westbound Tasker Road. The vehicle went over a concrete median, crossed into the eastbound lane, went off the road and hit the power box.

Chamberlain saw the fire and reached the flaming vehicle while Lagodich and Combs were still inside.

“He went to the vehicle and got them out before they were further injured in the crash,” Tyler said of Chamberlain. “We attribute his actions to saving their lives.”

Tyler said Lagodich and Combs were taken to Winchester Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries from the crash.

Tyler said an investigation of the crash by Trooper J.M. Myers led state police to charge Lagodich with drunk driving and driving on a revoked license. Combs was charged with being drunk in public.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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