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MTSU students rescued from burning car by good Samaritans

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Posted at 9:42 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 06:31:23-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Murfreesboro couple with plans to get married soon say it's a miracle they are alive after managing to escape their burning car following a hit-and-run.

In just a few months, Sophie Newsome and Austin Markos will be tying the knot. Now the two are left without their car after a person crashed into it before running away from the crime scene.

"I had actually picked out my wedding dress that day too, so that's what made it kind of crazy," Newsome said.

Preparations are underway for their wedding in September. But the couple says an accident Saturday night almost canceled everything.

"I literally thought we were going to die for a second. Looking back at it, it seems like it happened all so fast, but at the moment, it just felt like it could go on forever. And I just thought that was going to be it. When is this going to stop? We were turning and flipping so much," Newsome said.

The two Middle Tennessee State University students were driving on Interstate 24 near Sam Ridley Parkway around 9 p.m. when they heard a loud bang.

"Next thing you know we start to lose control, spun a couple of times, flipped once or twice maybe more than that. I don't know because obviously, I didn't count," said Markos.

The couple is still looking for answers as to what happened.

So far they said, all they know is what witnesses tell them, that a black Dodge charger was swerving between lanes, causing the two-vehicle accident.

"It was pure recklessness as far as the motive behind it whether it was road rage people racing one another, it's unknown," Markos said.

If it wasn't for the quick actions of good Samaritans that helped get them out of the car, Markos said the crash could have been more tragic.

"I would say not even a minute after we got out the car was engulfed in flames," he said.

While the couple is incredibly thankful they are safe, they are hoping someone comes forward with information.

"You're looking at two college students that are trying to get their life together, trying to graduate college, trying to get a house, something like this could put anybody in a hole much less two college students trying to get by," Markos said.

Family and friends are offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the suspect.

Marko and Newsome lost their phones and laptops in the car fire. They have set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of medical bills.