Cooper Consolidated Employee, Three Others Pull Woman from Burning Car


Four men were credited with rescuing a woman from a burning car on Monday, February 18, in Garyville, Louisiana – among them was Cooper Consolidated’s Jeremy Zeringue.

It all happened when impaired 22-year-old driver Richard Preston slammed into a car driven by a 41-year old woman, according to Louisiana State Police. Jeremy first noticed Preston’s car about a half hour earlier when it almost hit him. He dialed 911 and followed the car.

“I told the 911 operator ‘Hey, he is about to kill someone’ and that’s when the lady was stopped. He hit her at over 100-something miles per hour,” Jeremy said.

He then got out and rushed over to the flaming car. State police say John Lejeune, Byron Gilcrease and another unidentified man eventually joined in. It took time but the men were able to bust open the window with a fire extinguisher and pull the woman out.

“Basically when we broke the glass it (fire) was in her back seat already, flames were already coming through the trunk and out the backseat,” said Jeremy. (We) pulled her out of the window (the flames) started coming out of the window.”

“People need to see that there are modern day heroes out here and that people still care,” one witness said. 

Jeremy doesn’t think he’s a hero. He says he just did was what he thought was right and gives the rest of the credit to the other three men.

The rescued woman was identified as Haley Ilg, Environmental Supervisor for Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville Refinery. On March 13, Marathon Petroleum recognized Jeremy and the other rescuers with a special award for their courageous actions. 

For the original story and video of the fiery rescue, visit WWL TV.