Bystander uses wet leaves to put out car fire, rescue Gallatin man

Phillip Brown (Photo: WKRN)

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Gallatin man is being called a hero after using wet leaves to help rescue a stranger involved in a fiery crash.

Phillip Brown was headed to check on his father, who was having hip replacement surgery, last Monday when he saw smoke coming from the side of the road along Hartsville Pike in Gallatin.

“I turn around real quick and looked back and sure enough, a truck had gone off into a ravine. I ran to the top of the hill and noticed it was on fire,” Brown recalled.

Brown called 911, before he pulled over and began throwing water from a nearby creek on the car fire.

Phillip Brown (Photo: WKRN)
Phillip Brown (Photo: WKRN)

When that didn’t work, he said he started digging to the bottom of the creek and used wet leaves, which eventually put the fire out.

As Brown was attempting to extinguish the fire, the driver remained trapped inside.

“I climbed up top to try to help the gentleman and he was virtually hanging by his seat belt,” said Brown.

Emergency crews quickly responded and were able to get the man out of the car.

The crash victim was transported to an area hospital and emergency officials said that Brown may have saved the man’s life.

Brown told News 2 he never learned the man’s name, but responders told him the man has been released from the hospital and is okay.

“To be honest with you, when I saw the truck the way it was, in that ravine, I didn’t want to see what was down there to be honest with you because I didn’t think it was going to be pretty,” said Brown.

Witnesses near the crash site said they consider Brown a hero.

“Anytime somebody is willing to step in and help somebody else, even if it’s a minor thing in their eyes, I definitely think that they are heroic,” said Shannon Threet, who was near the scene at the time of the accident.

Brown told News 2 he does not consider himself a hero, instead he wants to give thanks to the emergency responders who help people every day.

“That is their job and they see so much, and have to deal with do much that the public never knows. They are the real heroes,” said Brown.

For his bravery, Brown was honored by the police department.

He also received a key to the city of Gallatin from the mayor, who also happens to be his big sister.

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