TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Last week, an accident in Terre Haute left one woman trapped in a fiery car. With emergency crews still on the way, everyday citizens risked their lives and became heroes.
"It was like a bomb went off," said Tim Eggers. "Everything went black. Pretty soon I seen the Mustang rolling with gas coming out of it and fire trailing behind it."
Tim was the first one out of his vehicle after the accident, running straight over to Chandelle Chesterfield's burning car.
But while Eggers saw the accident unfold, James Isles had a different perspective.
"When I first ran out there, I had to stand there to even understand what was going on," said James, "because I didn't see it, I just heard it."
With the car in flames, there was little time to wait.
"I knew somebody was in that car and if we didn't do something she was gonna burn," said Shari Cruse.
What happened next will stick with Tim Eggers forever.
"She turned her head at me and closed her eyes and I made up my mind then I was going to get her out, one way or another," said Tim.
At that moment, nothing else mattered.
"I was completely unaware of anything else around me," said James. "I was unaware of any other cars involved in the accident. I was unaware of anyone else in the area. My full focus was, 'get her out, get her out, get her out.'"
"I was getting burned but I didn't feel it," said Tim. "My hands are burned and my ankles burned, but I didn't feel none of that stuff. The fire shooting up inside the car, around her, around me, around everybody else. Everyone's saying the car's going to blow up, and you never know."
Their thoughts all echoed around one thing.
"That's somebody's daughter. You're not going to let that happen," said James.
By this time, emergency crews were only blocks away. But in that short time, a half dozen people banded together and ripped open Chandelle's door.
Tim Eggers jumped into the burning car and cut her seatbelt to get her out.
"I would have took my own life to get her out of there," said Tim, "I already made up my mind on that. I wouldn't have let her go by herself."
Just when they thought the tragedy was over, James saw something that sent a shiver down his spine.
"I went back to investigate the car to make sure nobody else was in it, and that's when we noticed the baby seat in the back," said James.
Miraculously, Chandelle had dropped her kids off just minutes before, meaning everyone was safe.
"I'm amazed that everybody lived through that accident because it certainly looked like somebody should not have made it," said Shari.
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