Employees save woman in burning car | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 30, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: March 29, 2017 at 10:12 am
It was early into the March 28 morning shift at Dunkin’ Donuts at 1457 Bells Highway and there was a lull in customers. Then the clock hit 7 a.m.
Denise Hudson was behind the counter making drinks when she chanced a look out the front window.
A burgundy car was on Bells Highway, flames shooting out from underneath the vehicle.
Brianna “Nikki” Player was working the drive-through window when Hudson exclaimed, “She’s on fire.”
Player looked out the front window and saw the flames. “I freaked out.”
As she stuck her head out the drive-through window, the burning car pulled into the parking lot.
She could see a gas can wedged underneath the car. Walterboro firefighters theorize that the gas can was in the roadway and the driver was unable to avoid running over it. When it became stuck underneath the vehicle, sparks caused by the can being dragged along the pavement ignited the gas.
Player said she was screaming for the woman to get out of her vehicle. “I thought her car was going to explode.”
Adrenaline took over. Player jumped out the drive-through window, ran to the burning car, opened the door and told the driver “c’mon, c’mon.”
Player said the woman asked if she could retrieve her belongings from the vehicle. Player said, “No ma’am, the car is on fire. We don’t have enough time for that.”
She began pulling on the woman. “I needed to hurry up and get her out,” Player explained. “I’m only 98 pounds — I don’t know where my strength came from.”
As Player was getting the driver out of the car, her co-worker Mel White raced out the front door with a bucket of water to attempt to slow the fire. The flames were quelled by someone armed with a fire extinguisher. The city fire department was on the scene within four minutes and the fire was out.
Player said after they were safely away from the fire, she apologized for pulling on the driver. Player said the woman told her, “You saved my life.”
“I would want someone to do that for my grandma,” Player said.
“It was all kind of a team effort,” she said. Another employee said, “The teamwork was perfect.”
Her actions, Player said, echoed her career goals.
“This is what I want to do in life — I want to be a paramedic,” Player said. “I like helping people. I want to be the reason why they get to see another day.”