52nd, Blondo crash

Fuel burns under a car at 52nd and Parker Streets in February 2016.


A crash of a sedan and pickup truck in north-central Omaha sent three people to hospitals Friday night but could have turned out much worse if not for the actions of neighbors who sprang into action.

Regina Wilson, who lives near 52nd and Parker Streets, said she was in her kitchen when she heard the crash. “I went to the door and the car was in flames.”

The sedan’s gas tank had ruptured. Wilson said she yelled for her husband to call 911.

Dennis Wilson said he ran down the stairs and found “quite a hairy situation.”

A 2000 Lincoln Continental that was carrying three people was struck by a 2007 Toyota Tundra driving north on 52nd Street, police said. The Wilsons said that after hitting the sedan, the truck rolled onto its side and continued another 400 feet before coming to a rest near Blondo Street.

The pickup had been speeding, police said, and crashed into the sedan when it turned from westbound Parker Street onto southbound 52nd Street, police said.

“There were beer cans all over 52nd that came out when it flipped,” Regina Wilson said. The driver, Andrew D. Williams, 37, was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence-causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving, police said. He was not injured, they said.

Two of the people inside the Lincoln — a man and a woman — got out by themselves, but a third was unconscious and trapped in the burning car, Dennis Wilson said.

Together with two other neighbors, the 66-year-old former military police officer said he pulled the man out as flames got closer.

“It was just a matter of time where we could get him or not get him,” Wilson said.

The driver of the sedan, Kyle Philipps, suffered chest injuries, police said. He turned 28 Friday. A passenger in a rear seat, Erin Sorensen, 28, suffered burns and internal injuries, police said. Regina Wilson, a nurse, said that Sorensen had all the hair on one side of her head burned off and her jacket was melted to her back.

The front seat passenger, Nathaniel A Wissink, 28, suffered a head injury that is not considered life-threatening, police said.

From police on scene:

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