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She'd Given Birth 3 Days Earlier. That Didn't Stop Her Heroism

Holly McNally, other Good Samaritans helped rescue on-fire truck driver after fuel tanker crash
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2020 1:00 PM CST

(Newser) – An Indianapolis-area mom had quite the week, with a relatively quiet Tuesday and Wednesday bookended by the birth of her fourth child and a heroic rescue. The Indianapolis Star reports that Holly McNally, 35, delivered baby Connor on Monday after only a half-hour or so of labor. Connor has had to stay in the NICU for observation, and McNally was heading back home with her mother after visiting him Thursday afternoon when they drove past an on-fire tanker that had been carrying 4,000 gallons of fuel and overturned. The driver was able to get out of the truck, but he was on fire—and McNally leaped into action. McNally reveals what went through her mind when she saw the driver caught up in the flames. "I thought, what if that's my son?" she said, per FOX59. "What if that's Connor when he's 30—would you want somebody to just leave him there?"

As McNally was running up the ramp from Interstate 465, she met up with another Good Samaritan with a blanket, and when they got to the badly hurt driver, they were able to smother the flames. A third bystander assisted them in getting the driver down the embankment—while all McNally could think about was her newborn. "I'm thinking, I'm gonna blow up in an explosion and not see my baby again," she tells the Star. There were at least two blasts, but the three got down the hill safely. The truck driver—identified by his company, Jet Star, as 59-year-old Jeffrey "Duke" Denman—suffered serious burns and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. "We are grateful that no one else was injured or involved," the company said in a statement. "Without question, those Good Samaritans saved this driver's life," Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine says. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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