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Survivor of I-70 wreck thanks state trooper for saving her life

A state trooper pushed 17-year-old's car to the side after it died just minutes before the deadly semi-truck crash on Interstate 70.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — During the horrible crash on Interstate 70 that killed four people on Thursday, 17-year-old Isabel Witter could have been the fifth.

"I didn't see it coming from behind. I just heard it hit the cars next to me and it was about two or three feet to my left," Witter said.

At least six others were injured in the crash near the 20th Avenue/Denver West Parkway interchange that involved 24 passenger vehicles and four semi-trucks. Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, was the driver of the semi-truck who the Lakewood Police Department said caused the crash.

RELATED: Bond set for man accused of causing fiery crash on I-70 that killed 4

Just minutes before the fiery destruction, Witter's car broke down right underneath the overpass at Denver West Boulevard and Interstate 70. Fortunately, she was just a few cars in front of State Trooper Joshua Furman.

"We were all kinda stuck in traffic. I came up behind her and her 4-ways were on," Furman said. "So, I turned my emergency lights on. I walked up and checked on her and she said her battery had died."

RELATED: 'I'm lucky to be alive': I-70 crash victim credits 2 passersby with saving her 

Furman told Witter to put her car in neutral and they pushed the car out of the right traffic lane onto the shoulder.

"And, then he told me to stay in my car and drove away and then I think it was about five minutes later that the semi-truck came through," Witter said.

Furman said she is lucky that she moved.

"She was in the right lane of traffic, so the probability of her getting hit was probably pretty good," Furman said.

RELATED: By the numbers: Comparing the fiery I-70 crash and May 2017 I-25 crash

Witter thanked the state trooper for saving her life.

"If I hadn't been moved by that trooper to the right shoulder five, ten minutes before that, I wouldn't be here today," Witter said.

Whether she calls it luck or fate or a second chance, Witter said she is grateful that she was able to run to safety and avoid being the fifth fatal victim.

"I do feel extremely protected, but it comes with the guilt of the difference between five or six feet of life and death and I happened to be on this side and another person happened to be on the other side," Witter said. "I feel awful and I feel all the pain of the families and friends who did lose somebody."

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