By Cleve Bryan


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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) – They ran out of time but their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Eyewitness News spoke to the good Samaritans who risked their own safety at the scene of a car crash in Egg Harbor Township, trying to rescue a mother and her baby.

The accident investigation continues and it’s yet to be determined if the driver who survived Tuesday’s crash will face any charges, but the two men who tried to save the mother and baby have a different perspective on the tragedy.

“We both embraced each other and just cried,” said James Stebbins.

Strangers until two days ago, Stebbins and Jerry Fournier will now forever share a bond formed by a tragedy both would rather forget.

“Didn’t know anything about him, but I know what kind of man he is,” said Fournier.

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On Tuesday afternoon, both men happened across what appeared to be head-on collision on English Creek Road in Egg Harbor Township. One driver appeared to be fine but the other was draped upside down in a burning Kia Soul.

“The cabin was already filled up with smoke, we couldn’t even see her,” said Jerry Fournier.

“We just weren’t able to pry anything open and the lady was pretty tied into that vehicle. There was no getting her out,” said Stebbins.

The 31-year-old woman was trapped behind the wheel and told them to stop messing with her and get her 10-month-old son from the backseat, which they hadn’t seen because of the black smoke.

“We went around the side doors, back doors, smoke is coming out everywhere,” said Fournier.

“We’re grabbing, pulling, trying to get the baby out,” said Stebbins.

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But, the fire spread too quickly for them to free the victims.

“We tried everything, we gave it everything we had and time just wasn’t on our side that day,” added Stebbins.

The hair singed off their arms and their lungs full of black smoke, the real pain is emotional.

“Maybe I’ll get over it, everybody says thanks for trying but we both feel like failures to some degree for not being able to get one of them out,” said Fournier.

Both men met the victim’s family the next day.

Their efforts and relaying the message the mom was fighting for her baby to get provided great comfort.

“She pleaded to get her baby out and asked for us to get her baby out,” said Stebbins. “She was calm and cool and she was the bravest one on the scene that day.”