DECATUR, Ind. (CBS Local) — An Indiana teenager is being hailed as a hero after saving a woman’s life following a fiery car crash.
Jeb Richey, 16, said he was riding in a car with his mom and some friends on U.S. 27 in Adams County on Aug. 3 when it screeched to a halt to avoid a driver stopped in the left lane.
“We were in the fast lane and they [the driver] were just stopped, not pulled off to the shoulder or into grass. They were just stopped in the middle of the left lane,” he told CBS affiliate WSBT.
Another driver on the road that day, Melissa Garmen, said could not stop in time. Her vehicle hit the car Richey was riding in and burst into flames.
“I ran right and around to Missy to see whether she was dead or unconscious,” Richey said. “Even if she was dead, her family would still want to see her. That was my mindset, I had to get this person.”
The Kosciusko County teen was able to pull Garmen out of her car before first responders arrived and before the car exploded.
“I do remember the car on fire,” Garmen said. “I remember at one point coming to enough and I saw Jeb’s face in my window. He said, ‘I’m going to get you out,’ and I remember putting my hand up there and seeing him and I must have passed out again.”
Garman was in intensive care for 23 hours after the accident, suffering from burns to an arm and hand, fractured sternum and a concussion.
“I have my life to thank to this young kid,” she said.
Richey was scheduled to be formally recognized for his heroism Tuesday night at a regular meeting of the Decatur Common Council.
The woman who police say stopped her vehicle in the middle of the left lane on a highway was charged with reckless driving and a learner’s permit violation.