A homeless Army veteran saved a man from a burning vehicle after a head-on collision in Florida’s Panhandle.
Freddie Finkley was near an intersection with his girlfriend, Stephanie Tidwell, on April 7 when they saw the crash on a highway overpass near Pensacola, the Associated Press reported.
Finkley pulled Eric Lopez, 34, from the vehicle as flames encased the dashboard.
“I ran down there, and flames started coming through the dashboard. I went in there, and I tried,” Finkley told WKRG. “He said, ‘Leave me.’ I said, ‘I can’t leave you. You’ll burn up.’ So I pried his hands loose from the steering wheel. This other guy came, and we picked him up and toted him up the bridge.”
Finkley’s quick actions saved Lopez’s life.
Lopez’s grandmother, Sandra McFall, met Finkley later on, thanking him for saving his grandson’s life.
“You’re truly God’s angel,” she said. “I praise God that you were here because you saved my grandson, and that means everything to me.”
The police department is also praising Finkley for his life-saving actions.
“Anybody that helps out another person — especially in this case where it could have or did save a life — we certainly appreciate that,” Pensacola Police Department spokesman Officer Mike Wood told the Pensacola News Journal. “It’s not very often that people want to get involved anymore, but he did.”