Good Samaritan Pulls Man From Fiery Crash

Matthew Beebe says he was compelled to turn around and help when he saw smoke rising from the crash. WOOD's Heather Walker reports.
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(WOOD/NBC News) — A Good Samaritan says he was compelled to risk his own safety when he pulled a man from a fiery crash near Rothbury, Michigan on Monday.

Matthew Beebe said he was driving home when he saw smoke and stopped. He said it’s a decision that saved two lives.

It had started as a bad day. He headed out to Silver Lake, searching for his son who he lost contact with years ago. Having no luck, he started driving home to Holland. That’s when he saw the smoke.

“I knew I had to turn around,” Beebe said. “I was compelled to, something within my heart.”

Jeremiah McDonald, 39, of Montague had swerved to miss a deer and was stuck inside the crashed car.

“I heard a man screaming for help, ‘I can’t move,’” Beebe said.

He ran toward the voice.

“Flames were coming out from the engine, flames were underneath the vehicle,” Beebe recalled.

Beebe said McDonald was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, but he knew there was no time to wait. He reached in and pulled McDonald out through the window.

“He was in so much pain but I had no choice but to move him,” Beebe said. “So at that time I would drag him three feet and then I would rest, then I would drag him three more feet.”

Beebe got McDonald away from the car before the gas tank exploded, sending flames high above the vehicle.

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