Decatur man facing several charges after fiery Beltline Road cra - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Decatur man facing several charges after fiery Beltline Road crash

Steve Shackelford (Source: Decatur Police Department) Steve Shackelford (Source: Decatur Police Department)
Fred Dunigan helped rescue motorists from an eight-vehicle pileup in Decatur on Nov. 7, 2017. (Source: WAFF) Fred Dunigan helped rescue motorists from an eight-vehicle pileup in Decatur on Nov. 7, 2017. (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF Staff) (Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff) (Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff) (Source: WAFF Staff)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A Decatur man faces several charges after police say he fled the scene where he caused a massive 10-vehicle pileup in which two of the vehicles burned completely on Beltline Road at Old Moulton Road Tuesday morning.

Investigators with Decatur police say a 2005 Dodge Magnum was traveling at a high speed northbound on the Beltline, when the driver, 29-year-old Steve Shackelford of Decatur failed to stop at the intersection of Old Moulton Road.

Several vehicles had already come to a stop but the Dodge Magnum struck the Chevrolet Silverado at high speed and caused a chain collision. 

It was originally believed that Shackelford was transported to the hospital by EMS. Police say he actually left the scene on foot. He was located at his residence and taken into custody.

Decatur police say the most severe injury was the driver of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado. The driver, identified as 44-year-old Larry Stafford Byrd of Decatur, was flown to UAB in critical condition. 

It might have been worse if some brave people nearby hadn't helped. That includes Fred Dunigan. He said he thought it'd be a normal morning drive into work Tuesday, but it was about as far from ordinary as it gets.

"6 o’clock going to work, regular day, pulled up to the light…all I heard was a bang," Dunigan said.

He said when he turned around, he saw a flame about 20 feet high and smoke everywhere. Dunigan said what was going through his mind is simple:

"That’s the first thing that comes to my mind, just to help,” he said. “I didn't think about it as far as being hurt. I saw them in a car on fire, so I was more thinking about them getting out the car before it exploded."

Dunigan said he and a couple other people pulled victims out of cars.

"He seemed lifeless,” Dunigan said, referring to one of the victims in a car. “His eyes opened. I asked, 'Can you open the door?’ He couldn’t."

So Dunigan and a few others busted windows, talked panicked drivers down, and did what they needed to do to save lives.

"We’re all people. Humans. I don’t look at a person’s race. Black, white, none of that. We pump the same blood. If I see you down, I'll help you up," he said.

Dunigan said the crash victims and their families have been on his mind all day, and he hopes to see each of them again someday. Not at the hospital, he said, but at a grocery store or driving around town, completely recovered and healthy.

“I hope they can get out of the hospital. I hope we just catch each others’ faces and remember what happened,” he said.

Shackelford was charged with felony leaving the scene, driving on revoked license, driving with an expired tag, and no proof of insurance. 

The investigation into this wreck is ongoing. 

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