Vermont man hailed as a hero for saving people from burning Jeep

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ROCKINGHAM, Vt. (WCAX) A crash last Monday in Rockingham ended with the vehicle and some of the surrounding trees catching on fire. But thanks to one man, the driver and his passenger survived. Our Olivia Lyons introduces you to the man some are calling a hero.

Daniel Godbout

"You see a vehicle go off the road and people are in danger, you just naturally want to help. And it was really easy for me. I didn't think about it," said Daniel Godbout of Rutland.

Godbout was on his way to work last Monday when he saw a Jeep driving erratically. As he drove around a corner, he saw the vehicle had gone airborne off the road. He told another woman at the scene to call 911 and ran down the bank to where the Jeep had landed.

"I saw the Jeep, I started screaming. I didn't expect to hear a response and I got one," he said.

He says within minutes the car was engulfed in flames. When Vermont troopers arrived on the scene, Godbout had already pulled the two people from the car.

"In an act of almost Herculean strength, removed two people from a burning car, under their seat belts and dragged them probably another 25-50 yards to safety," Tpr. Zachary Van Valkenburgh recounted.

Godbout never second-guessed helping the people in the accident.

"I was a little scared but I wasn't going to walk away from it," he said. "The girl came out very easy, the guy was very difficult to get out. He was stuck."

Van Valkenburgh has submitted Godbout for the Civilian Lifesaving Award for his actions in the crash.

"He chose to put his life at risk to save someone else and that is refreshing to see that in our line of work," Van Valkenburgh said.

But according to Godbout, he isn't the real hero.

"The police, the EMTs, the firefighters who showed up, punch in, day in and day out and do it every day," he said. "I got a little taste and it felt good. A lot of emotions. And then at the end of the day, I just smiled a little, knowing that I helped."

What Godbout did was extremely brave, but Vermont State Police say if you don't have training or fear it will put your own safety at risk, always call 911.

The two people in the car were taken to the hospital with injuries. Police say the driver was under the influence of drugs. They say the crash is still under investigation and charges are pending.