“I Kind of Grabbed Her Leg and Got My Arm Around Her, and, and Hoisted Her Out. And Poor Thing, She was Screaming and It was an Awful Situation”



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In September 2013, Jim Buck came across an accident as he was driving County Road 11 in Independence, Minnesota. A woman had crashed into a tree, and her 2000 Dodge Caravan had caught on fire. Mr. Buck, who took action immediately, said, “Pure instinct. It was just, you know, I didn’t have time to think.” He went to the van and realized that he needed to get the driver out before the van fully caught on fire. He said, “I kind of grabbed her leg and got my arm around her, and, and hoisted her out. And poor thing, she was screaming and it was an awful situation.” West Hennepin County Sergeant Gary Kroells said that Mr. Buck accomplished the rescue “just seconds, to maybe minutes before the vehicle completely caught on fire.” Carly Buck, Jim’s 10-year-old daughter, who was with him during the rescue, said, “I thought the car was going to explode.” Sergeant Kroells added, “What’s miraculous about it is the vehicle was far enough in the ditch that most people would’ve possibly driven by it just thinking it was a vehicle in the ditch.” The woman suffered injuries, which Sergeant Kroells listed as “lacerated liver, bleeding of the brain, broken leg, so she’s very lucky because if James Buck would not have stopped that night the outcome would have been very different.” Mr. Buck said, “I’m just very thankful that I could, I could be there to help … The meaning in our life is found in unexpected ways.” According to new articles citing the police, alcohol was a factor in the accident.

For Further Information: Charlene Sakoda, “Man makes second life saving rescue by pulling woman from van on fire.” Yahoo! News. 1 October 2013


For Further Information: Iris Perez, “Man saves woman from burning vehicle in Independence, Minn.” KMSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota). 28 September 2013; updated 29 September 2013


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