Brave Mother Rushes To Save Semi Driver From Burning Oil Tanker After Giving Birth Just Three Days Ago

A truck driver who survived from a gruesome accident when his overturned oil tanker exploded on an Indianapolis freeway is alive thanks to timely action by a brave mother who had given birth only three days ago.

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Holly McNally

Holly McNally and two others ran towards truck driver Jeffrey “Duke” Denman, who was ablaze after his semi-truck flipped over. McNally, had given birth to a son three days ago and was leaving the hospital with her mother after visiting her baby in the neonatal intensive care unit. “I slowed down, and I saw the actual semi on fire, and I look to the front of the semi and I see a man on fire,” McNally said. “And I’m scanning and people are videotaping and watching, but no one was going over there. So I told my mom ‘I’m stopping, I’m going over there.’”

She was joined by another good Samaritan who helped put out the fire which was consuming Denman’s body. As they evacuated from the scene, McNally realized that her shoes were soaked in a strong-smelling liquid. “We got him out, and we start to walk away and I see this huge stream of liquid and I could smell it,” McNally said. “I said ‘Jeff, honey, what were you hauling?’ And he said ‘jet fuel.’”

4,000 gallons of jet fuel was pouring down the freeway, creating a massive fire and thick plumes of black smoke. “We’re trying to carry him down and it’s getting closer and closer and the second explosion went off,” McNally said. “Smoke was hitting us and I was just praying like ‘God, please let us get out of here so I can see my baby.”

On Monday, McNally delivered her own baby, Connor, who came earlier than anticipated, and on Thursday, she was racing toward a blazing semi-truck to save a man’s life. “Without question, those good Samaritans saved this driver’s life,” Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine said.

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Baby Connor

Denman, 59, was badly burned and taken to the hospital in critical condition. Trucking company Jet Star Inc. issued a statement about the incident, thanking those who saved Denman’s life. “We would like to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support, prayers and concern for our driver Jeffrey “Duke” Denman following yesterday’s tragedy involving one of our trucks on the east side of Indianapolis,” the statement read.

“We are grateful that no one else was injured or involved. We would also like to offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the brave “Good Samaritan’s” that rushed to aid our driver and help him escape from further harm.” It further said. “We would also like to thank all of the first responders and various public safety agencies involved, firefighters, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and INDOT,” the statement said. “Thank you for your continued support and thoughts and prayers for our driver.”

McNally said she thought about her son as she decided to stop and help the driver. She was like if her son had been the one on fire, she would have wanted somebody to do the same. “I wish everybody was like that you know? I mean everybody should help everybody,” the brave mother said.

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In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace — Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)

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