Local man dies in fire after crash Monday in Bedford

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Photo by David Melson Rescue personnel cut the roof of Frank Bahou's car to gain access to the crash victim.

Bystanders were unable to rescue a Lewisburg man from his burning car after it ran off a road in northwestern Bedford County, struck a culvert and landed in a shallow ditch late Monday afternoon.

Frank Bahou, 32, died in his smashed Buick LeSabre moments after the crash at about 5:30 p.m. on Longview Road just south of the Kingdom Road intersection northeast of Unionville, State Trooper Tommie Boleyn said.

A man, who asked not to be identified, said, "He was still alive when I got there and was yelling for help."

He and another passerby ran to the burning vehicle.

"We had a large rock and threw it at the window three times and it wouldn't break," the witness said. "By the time we got it broken, the flames were up around him and it was too late."

A large dog also perished with Bahou.

Bahou's southbound car had run off the left side of the road before striking the concrete culvert that formed a part of a home's driveway.

The impact with the culvert tore off much of the car's front suspension and undercarriage, sparking the fire as the car nosedived into the ditch.

Bystanders may have had trouble saving Bahou even if the flames hadn't erupted. Crews from Volunteer Fire Services Inc. and Bedford County Emergency Medical Service needed 15-20 minutes to cut two doors and the roof off the car, which was wedged into the ditch.

Bahou "had been involved in an accident earlier, a property damage accident at Harts Chapel Road-Midland Road intersection and left the scene," Boleyn said. "We were looking for the car at the time the fatal accident took place."The accident remains under investigation."