CHUBBUCK — A 79-year-old Pocatello man died from injuries he sustained in a vehicle fire on Sunday.
Laddie McMaster died Monday at the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Idaho Army National Guard combat medic Donald Young was the first on the scene of the fire that claimed McMaster’s life.
Young said McMaster was severely burned on more than 90 percent of his body. He was transported first to the Portneuf Medical Center and then he was flown to the burn center in Utah.
After learning that McMaster had succumbed to his injuries, Young said he was glad he was there for Laddie and his family.
“I did everything that I could do for him and it helped buy enough time for his family to say goodbye,” Young said. “I’m glad I was able to do that.”
Young and his mother, Hiedi Young, were returning home from a Mother’s Day trip to the shooting range on 2 1/2 Mile Road when they came upon the burning pickup truck around 4 p.m.
McMaster was laying on the ground outside of the truck, and was covered in flames.
Young said he didn’t really even think about what he was doing, his training kicked in and he quickly grabbed a blanket and extinguished the blaze while his mother called 911.
“I just tuned out everything else and he was my only priority,” Young said.
They managed to move McMaster away from the burning vehicle.
McMaster was conscious and talking during the ordeal, but was unable to tell Young how the fire started.
“I’m not sure if he was working on his truck, or it caught fire while he was driving,” Young said. “He kept asking about his dog that was in the truck with him when it caught fire.”
The canine was found unharmed at the scene and was taken into custody by Chubbuck police.
Authorities shut down 2 1/2 Mile Road for about 90 minutes following the fire, the incident remains under investigation.
Chubbuck and Pocatello Fire department paramedics, Bannock County and the Idaho State Police responded to the call.
When he learned that McMaster had succumbed to his injuries,
Young, who is also a former emergency room worker, said he went to Portneuf Medical Center to check on McMaster and was there when he was transported to the burn center in Utah.
A biology student at Idaho State University, Young plans to pursue a career in medicine.