GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro woman was trapped in her burning car after a crash Monday night on Bryan Boulevard in Greensboro when she was saved by what could only be described as two angels, two women who literally went out their way to save a life.
Dana Caudle and Elizabeth Crutchfield were in the right place at the right time but more importantly, they acted, jumping into the fiery crash scene and pulling Paulette Hatcher from her burning her car.
Hatcher will tell you it’s nothing short of a miracle.
“To be honest, I think God sent them. I mean if somebody hadn’t got me out of that car I wouldn’t be here today,” said Hatcher, from her hospital bed at Moses Cone Hospital where she is recovering.
“For me it was instinct, we have to help her, we have to get her out,” said Crutchfield, of her initial thoughts when she ran up to the car.
But they both could have easily not been there. Caudle came back to the scene after driving past. Crutchfield, a nurse at Cone Health, usually doesn’t go that way and explained how she ended up at the scene.
“I just happened to go down Bryan Boulevard, last minute and my fiancé was like, 'Why did you do that?' and I said, 'I’ll just go this way today,' and he was like, 'That was stupid there’s too much traffic,' and the next thing you know, we were meant to be there.”
Once at the car, Crutchfield and Caudle knew they had to act fast.
“I just remember, we made direct eye contact and I don’t even remember what I said, I think I said, 'It’s about to explode,'” Crutchfield said.
“The next thing I remember is I’m at the car door with it open and I have Ms. Hatcher in my hands,” Caudle said.
They all left the scene not knowing any of each other’s names until Tuesday when Crutchfield was asked to help move a patient into surgery. That patient was Hatcher.
“In all the whole hospital, all the patients, all the nurses, she happened to be the one come met me face to face,” Hatcher said.
“I walked in and my face went just like this,” Crutchfield said, as her eyes got wide and her face showed surprise/ “I was like, 'Where did you get in your car accident?' and [Hatcher] said, 'Bryan Boulevard,' and I just leaned over the bed and said, 'Do you remember me?' and she said, 'Oh my gosh!'”
“This is half the reason I wanted to become a nurse is to help others and I will always put my life on the line for others,” Crutchfield said.
The family tracked down Caudle, who works as an office manager at Greensboro Physical Therapy and Friday they formed their lifelong friendship.
“It’s just great that we found each other again for me because we can always stay in contact and now we get to have forever friends,” Crutchfield said.