Stranger Helps Victim In Fatal Thanksgiving Crash

Posted at 4:26 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 19:57:22-05

While a fatal crash in Wilson County on Thanksgiving night remained under investigation, a good Samaritan that helped victims in the crash was hailed a hero.

Officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol have yet to release the names of the victims involved and the potential cause. 

The fiery crash involved at least two vehicles and killed one person. It occurred around 6:30 p.m. on I-40 East near mile marker 247, just east of Lebanon. 

The crash shut down all eastbound lanes for hours as drivers traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

One of the drivers who passed through the scene was Brandon Neff. He was traveling with his wife and two young kids to west Tennessee when they decided to turn around and help. 

Neff rushed to help a man in his truck who needed help getting out. 

"I kept trying to get this man out and next thing you know, the vehicle burst into flames," Neff told NewsChannel 5. "The flames came under my feet and I kept pulling but the fire was all around us so I had to leave."

Other witnesses had also pulled over to help out even before law enforcement and emergency responders arrived. 

"I was screaming to Gold asking for help," Neff recalled. " I just did not want to see that man burn up."

Neff said a trooper arrived with an extinguisher before there was a moment for them to pull out the man to safety. 

There was not much interaction after the man was taken out. Neff said his wife also helped another person in one of the vehicles involved. He and his wife wished they knew the names of the victims to one day meet them.

"We just want to know they are ok," Neff added. "All that we could think of was that these people were heading to see their families."

Although what he did could be viewed as heroic, Neff said not to call him a hero. 

"I did anyone would've done, I just couldn't stand to see that man burn up," Neff said.

As of Monday, the preliminary report and extent of injuries were not immediately known.