NEBRASKA CITY – Kobe Sammons’ pickup truck was totally engulfed in flames when Nebraska City firefighters arrived on F Road Friday afternoon, but he and his father were alive.
Kobe is a welder from Minnesota who had traveled 500 miles to be with his family over the AppleJack Festival. He arrived complaining that his truck was running poorly, so his dad, Jeremy, offered to go on a ride with him to see if they could figure out the problem.
They pulled over a mile from Nebraska City when Jeremy smelled something burning and smoke was seeping into the cabin by the time they stopped.
Then, they realized the doors had locked. They would not open.
As the smoke turned to heat and flame, Jeremy said he looked over at his son, wondering if this would be their last moments together.
Sammons: “I told him he would have to break the glass or kick the door open. I couldn’t help him.”
The engine compartment was on fire and 19-year-old Kobe was leaning over, using a leg to try and jar the door open.
Sammons: “It was in those moments. Just when it had to open, the door opened.”
Chief Deputy Mike Holland said he has never heard of doors locking because of a dashboard fire, but he could not rule out the possibility.
He said the doors will lock on many newer vehicles when the transmission is put into drive, but they are supposed to unlock when the vehicle is put into park.