Tampa Bay area Airman saves man from burning car

(WFLA) – This is an exclusive interview you’ll only find on WFLA.com. This true hero doesn’t just serve his county. He also stopped everything to save a man’s life.

“I see a car with smoke coming from the hood and immediately I just pulled over,” Peejay Jack said.

Jack had no idea what he would encounter on his morning commute earlier this week from Lake Mary to MacDill Air Force Base. “I was making good time as usual. My wife made me coffee. I was drinking that and listening to music. Then traffic started to slow down, as it does as usual at certain parts near Disney,” he said.

Jack then realized there was a crash right in front of him. “All of a sudden, I saw the back of a vehicle go from left to right … fishtail in the right lane … Then it just disappeared,” he said.

Jack immediately pulled over and ran to rescue the victim inside the car. “I yelled, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?’ No response … And I couldn’t quite get to the driver’s side door. It was kind of pinned in between the bushes and shrubbery and stuff,” he said.

Thankfully another man also pulled over. Together they were able to pry open the door to get to the victim. “At that point, I looked again, and the flames got bigger. They were getting bigger and I could feel the heat,” Jack said.

But the victim, Manuel Jimenez, couldn’t move. His leg injuries were too painful.

“So, finally I just took his arms and I took him by the wrist and put them around my neck and I’m like, ‘Come on,’ and he screamed … but I kept moving, and he screamed and I kept moving,” Jack said.

Dredging through mud and carrying the victim on his back, Jack was able to make it far enough away from the flaming car to secure their safety. That’s when emergency medical crews sprang into action.

Even after his act of heroism, this Airman is one very humble American. “It just so happened that God put me at that place at that time because I guess I have a strong back and strong shoulders,” Jack said.

One other note about Airman Jack, he is a former quarterback in both the Euro League and Arena League, as well as some semi-pro leagues.

When he’s not serving our country in the Air Force, he works with the Buccaneers, creating community football programs for children.

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