ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The life of an Elmira man was saved early Thursday morning thanks to the actions of his teenage neighbor.
Sean Clark woke up around 7:00 a.m. for work, earlier than usual, and his mother alerted him of a car stuck in a ditch on East Hill Road.
Sean said it sounded like the car was revving its engine trying to get out of the ditch when sparks began to fly and the vehicle caught fire.
The person inside the distressed minivan was an elderly neighbor who was stuck behind the wheel.
Sean sprung into action, kicking in the car door as the fire began to grow under the hood.
Once the door was open, the driver grabbed Sean’s arm and Sean pulled him out, taking him to safety while his mom called 911.
18 News spoke to the he driver is at home and doing well. After being rescued from his car, he was checked at the scene by first responders.
The East Hill Volunteer, Baldwin, and Breesport Fire Departments were called to the scene. Fire officials tell 18 News that the engine compartment was fully involved in flames when they arrived.
A graduate of Elmira High School, Sean now goes to Corning Community College and says he would do the same thing again.
“You have to what you have to do. Now looking back it was definitely a dangerous situation and a lot could have gone wrong but I am still thankful I did that because it could have been a lot worse if me and my mom didn’t find him when we did.”