By Diana Rocco
MULLICA Twp., N.J., (CBS) — We are hearing exclusively tonight from a South Jersey man who risked his life to save a stranger.
He sprang into action when he came upon a burning car.
Looking at the pictures of this mangled wreck, it’s hard to imagine anyone surviving.
“If I looked behind his head, there was a tree right about here coming up through his car,” Thomas Clark said.
Tom Clark and his girlfriend Janine Miller were on Route 542 in Mullica Township coming home from Christmas shopping around 1 a.m. Friday when they saw a car in the woods that looked like it was on fire.
“I saw the car and I said this just happened we have to stop,” Janine Miller said.
Janine called 911 while Tom went to look for the driver. John Hem, 22, had missed the dark steep turn and was unconscious inside the burning car.
“I was trying to get his attention, trying to get him to snap out of it, see what kind of condition he was in, and fire started coming up through the floor, where the floor was,” Clark said.
Not knowing his condition and unable to get him moving, Tom cut the driver’s seat belt and pulled him out.
“I just decided it was time to go. It really didn’t matter what kind of shape he was in. He had to get out or he was going to end right there. So, I pushed him forward and got up underneath of his arms and just drug him right out the driver’s side door of the car,” Clark said.
Within moments the car was engulfed. Hem walked away with only a broken wrist. Turns out Janine knows his family. Authorities say their actions were nothing short of heroic.
I feel blessed that we were able to be there at that moment,” Miller said.
Tom and Janine told CBS 3 they believe they were absolutely in the right place at the right time.