MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Truck driver David Ragland is being hailed a hero for rescuing two little boys from a fiery car crash last year.
But Ragland doesn’t see himself that way.
“I just did what anybody would have done that day,” he said. “I know people always say that, but it’s true.”
On August 11, 2013, Ragland was driving his truck down I-40 near the 60 mile marker in Haywood County when he saw something that made his heart stop.
“A car lost control and launched into the two lanes south of the freeway,” he said.
The car was in flames. Ragland grabbed a fire extinguisher from his cab and ran to help. He was able to pull two of the five people in the car to safety. Those two were a 6-year-old and his half-brother Andrew, who was just an infant at the time.
“You just do what you can do,” Ragland said. “That’s all you can do.”
Ragland was so moved by the crash, he and the truck company he works for donated $5,000 to the surviving children who lost their parents and another sibling.
“He’s a big hero,” the children’s grandmother, Angenella Stephenson said. “He did such a good job to get out there and help my children.”
Friday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol honored Ragland with an excellence award, but for him, the real reward was seeing little Andrew alive.
“It feels good,” he said through tears.
Tragedy brought them together, but selflessness created an unbreakable bond.
“It’s probably the biggest thing that I’ve ever done that had an impact on another person, and at the same time, it’s also probably the biggest failure I’ve ever had, because I couldn’t do more,” Ragland said.