Three people worked together to rescue a truck driver after a massive cargo explosion in Indianapolis on Thursday — and one of them had just given birth.
“We see a plume of smoke, huge smoke, it looked like a warehouse was on fire,” Holly McNally told Fox 59. “I slowed down, and I saw the actual semi on fire, and I look to the front of the semi and I see a man on fire,” McNally said. But while most people at the scene were content to record the agonizing death of an immolated stranger, McNally refused to join the rubber-necking.
“I’m scanning, and people are video taping and watching, but no one was going over there. So I told my mom ‘I’m stopping, I’m going over there.'” As another stranger tried to put Jeffrey “Duke” Denman out, McNally joined in. The danger, however, was far from over. “We got him out, and we start to walk away, and I see this huge stream of liquid, and I could smell it,” McNally said. “I said ‘Jeff… what were you hauling?’ And he said, ‘jet fuel.'”
Time was running out, and every passing moment brought Denman’s would-be rescuers and their charge ever closer to being swallowed by the inevitable blast. “We’re trying to carry him down and it’s getting closer and closer and the second explosion went off,” McNally said. “Smoke was hitting us and I was just praying like ‘God, please let us get out of here so I can see my baby.”
That baby was Connor McNally, who Holly had delivered into the world just three days before. Connor has been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Vincent since his birth, and McNally was returning home from a visit when she stopped to save a man’s life.
“I thought, what if that’s my son,” McNally remembered. “What if that’s Connor when he’s 30, would you want somebody to just leave him there?”
“My mom was like ‘I can’t believe you didn’t just run away,’ and I’m like ‘I’m not gonna leave somebody,'” McNally said. “I wish everybody was like that you know? I mean everybody should help everybody.”