It was just after midnight on April 1 when 58-year-old Jose Martinez returned to his home in Aurora, Illinois. Suddenly, an intense bang exploded through the darkness, and Martinez and his wife immediately looked outside to see what had caused the commotion.
A vehicle had crashed and was engulfed in flames. Martinez found himself running across the street to check on the driver.
“I opened the passenger door and he was slumped over on the passenger side so I pulled him out,” Martinez recalled.
As Aurora police officers arrived on the scene, a dash cam recorded the moment Martinez pulled the 34-year-old driver out of the car.
A second good Samaritan, 29-year-old Devin Johnson, helped pull the driver’s body far away from the fiery vehicle.
“I just ran up and made sure he was far enough away because the car eventually did explode, so, yeah, it was pretty crazy,” Johnson stated.
According to police, the driver was intoxicated and charged with a DUI. He was hospitalized for minor injuries and will be expected to appear in court on April 16.
“I just hope he’s well and hope he learned his lesson,” Martinez said of the driver. “Call a cab or Uber. He could have killed himself or somebody else.”
Aurora police have given full credit to Martinez and Johnson for saving the driver’s life. The men are heroes, putting their own lives at risk to help a complete stranger.
“To say Jose’s actions were heroic and brave are an understatement,” Aurora police wrote on social media. “Had he not taken immediate action, the driver would not have lived.”
“Devin should also be commended for assuring the man was out of harm’s way,” police continued. “Outstanding job, gentlemen.”
Both men agree that they simply did the right thing by choosing to help. Had you or I been in their shoes, we’d have done the same thing, the men argued.
“I just think it’s human nature to help someone out when they can’t help themselves,” Johnson expressed. May the driver walk away from this experience with a humbled heart, committed to never drinking and driving again.
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