Iowa man in car crash starts fire to call for help

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man injured in a car crash in southeast Iowa got help by starting a fire.

The Iowa State Patrol says 38-year old Timothy McCollum, of Thurman, was injured Wednesday night in a single-vehicle crash in Mills County. His car went into a creek bed and ended up under a bridge that was out of sight from passing motorists.

Authorities say an injured McCollum crawled onto a nearby embankment. He didn’t have a cellphone, so he set a signal fire. Authorities believe he used an accelerant to start the fire, since he smelled of gasoline.

Drivers began reporting the fire and a motorist eventually spotted him. McCollum was taken by helicopter to a nearby Omaha hospital, and he was in fair condition Thursday morning.

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