HIGH POINT, N.C. — Two men who were strangers until days ago are now bonded for the rest of their lives thanks to one singular truth: they saved a life together.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, along Business 85 in High Point, Hadef Alsamat and Shane McCrea both pulled over when they noticed a car on fire on the other side of the road. Unsure of if someone was in danger, they ran across four lanes to investigate. When they got alongside it, they found a man unconscious inside.
“Tried to open it from the outside, we couldn’t open, I had to [get] my hand from the inside and open it up,” Alsamat said.
As other drives passed by, the men struggled to get the man out, as his legs were stuck under the steering wheel.
“We finally got his leg to pop up underneath the steering wheel and we both grabbed him and pulled him out. We fell as we got out actually,” McCrea recalled.
With the flames now consuming the car, they realized the man wasn’t breathing. They say Alsamat started CPR, and when the man jolted back to life, they started trying to get him a safe distance from the fire.
McCrea – a retired Marine – started doing sternum rubs on the man, but he never regained consciousness. Firefighters, police, and EMS arrived, got the fire out and loaded the man into an ambulance.
“We just did it because we thought it was right. I would hope someone would do it for me,” McCrea said.
While it’s not abnormal for McCrea to be on the road at that time of night, it is for Alsamat, who said he was only out because he had a headache and went to get medicine.
“It was like God sent me there,” he said.
McCrea was in contact with the man’s wife and says he was discharged from the hospital and is now home. They believe he may have had a seizure and put his car into neutral to prevent speeding up if he passed out. They think his foot stayed on the pedal after he lost consciousness, causing the engine to overheat, sparking the fire.
“I just did what I was supposed to,” McCrea said when asked if he considers himself a hero.
“Like, don’t thank me for my job, and that was my job to do,” Alsamat replied.
The men are hoping to visit the man they saved once he’s recovered.