Hero nurse honored months after fiery I-26 crash - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Hero nurse honored months after fiery I-26 crash

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Nurses consider it their duty to help save a life. One nurse from Providence Hospital was honored Sunday for doing so.

The South Carolina State Guard recognized Kelly Winters for his quick actions which helped save a woman after the massive fiery crash on Interstate 26 in May.

Winters, 47, was going eastbound on the highway when he got caught in the crash. The incident involved eight vehicles, a gasoline tanker, and a tractor trailer. Winters said he crashed into a police car and was helping the officer out when both of them noticed the driver of the tanker, Leslie Miller, could not get out. Winters sprinted back towards the fiery tanker. 

He says he bent the front windshield so the woman could escape. 

The State Guard presented Winters with the Francis Marion Swamp Fox Award for Heroism.

"I was just totally concentrated on how to get her out of that vehicle, that was the only thing that was running in my mind," Winters said. "First, pull her out, when I couldn't do that I had to go to plan B which was break the window and get her out that way. I really didn't have much time to think about anything else other than how to get her out of there." 

"I just couldn't imagine him doing anything differently," his wife, Sherri, said. "That's just who he is. He's going to help if he can, that's just who he is." 

Winters is also the man whose wife's engagement ring was found in the wreckage, unharmed.

Winters is not a member of the South Carolina State Guard, but in light of his quick actions State Guard leaders asked him to join.

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