Illinois man saves 1 friend from car crash, watches another die

LYONS, Ill. — A suburban man who survived a fiery car crash that killed his friend said he believes he was put in a position to help when no one else could.

Anastacio Morales  and two friends were returning from a night of celebrating his friend Jamie Ann Poulos' birthday. They were traveling home around 3 a.m. Sunday in an Uber when a speeding car hit them from behind. Their car spun several times and burst into flames.

Morales was able to open his passenger seat door and get out, but he would soon learn his was the only door that would open.

Morales was able to pull one of his friends from the backseat to safety. She suffered third-degree burns on her shoulder and chest and is still recovering.

Morales went back to get his friend Poulos, but she was unconscious and pinned in from the damage the car sustained. She was pronounced dead.

Morales said Poulos was a strong minded but tender soul.

“She never left your side.  She was always there no matter what,” he said. “Through your hardest times, she’d always be there for you as a friend.”

A Morton West High School grad, Poulos’s mom described her as  beautiful and humble. She worked at a Starbucks in La Grange, a playful employee who loved her job. She was studying at Morton College with dreams of being a meteorologist or an astronomer.