Sometimes, we find a story that you just need to hear. This one is about the heroic and selfless actions of two East Texans. The setting: a wreck on Mother's Day weekend, on Highway 287, just north of Elkhart. A woman is dead in the car, and a two year old toddler is stuck in the back of the burning car.
Here's what happened next.
On Saturday, May 10th, Duane Boies of Tyler was driving back home from Grapeland.
"I relive that every day. Every night....A lady flagged me down and asked me if I had a fire extinguisher. And I told her I did, and she said, please hurry. There is a child in the car, a baby."
The driver, Sandra Little, was dead, and the baby who called her Nanna, 2 year old Tristian, was in the backseat.
"The car was just engulfed in flames and all I could see was his poor hands, reaching out for help from somebody." Immediately Duane and another man, Jamie Moore of Crockett, began trying to rescue him.
"I was trying to reach in...where his legs were and trying to figure out how he was pinned in there. I couldn't get him out. The car expolded. It wasn't a huge explosion, just enough to knock me and Jamie back," says Duane. "I just ran back down there. Me and Jamie. I mean, he was alive...I just reached in there and fell backwards with him... I saw my child's face. I've got one that is almost two. He's two years old. And I didn't know him. That night and the next day were probably the worst days of my life, not knowing who he was or how he was doing."
All were badly burned, and Tristian remains in critical care today at Parkland's burn unit in Dallas.
Duane suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns, "just my arm, one side of my arm," a result of actions that he says changed his life. "I did what I feel like I needed to do. I never thought twice. Never once thought about how much it would change my life and how I look at every precious moment."
And, still at Tristian's side, his family tells KLTV 7 News that they're grateful for the two strangers who stopped Tristian's precious moments from being taken away forever.
A fund has been set up to help with not only Tristian's medical bills, but also for gas to help his family drive back and forth from Palestine to Dallas. If you'd like to help, call First State Bank. They have locations in both Palestine and Frankston. Just tell them you're donating to the Tristian Hyatt Medical Fund.