I don’t know teenagers Luke Vaughn and Cody Decker of Palm Coast, FL, but I would like to meet them.
The two 17-year-old high school seniors are being hailed by authorities in their Florida town as heroes for saving the lives of two people critically injured in an automobile wreck.
That’s right, folks, two teenagers making the news as heroes rather than as criminals, delinquents or perpetrators of some foolish act through one of the social media.
Tuesday night Luke and Cody were trying to activate the electric gate at their rental condo when a car careened past them at an estimated 100 mph and slammed into a pair of nearby trees almost splitting the car in half. Fortunately, the two occupants of the auto were not killed, but they were trapped inside the vehicle, which caught on fire.
Cody sprinted toward the car, and Luke called 911 on his cell phone as he, too, raced toward the car. He described the wreck to the 911dispatcher and explained what he saw inside the dimly lit car. The teenagers thought the man and woman in the car were dead until they heard them moan and begin begging that someone get them out.
A bystander joined Cody in trying to open the bent car door but they were not succeeding. So, Luke politely told the dispatcher that he needed to stop talking and help. The 911 audiotapes reflect the sounds of what was occurring.
Quickly, they succeeded in extracting the woman from the car but her male companion remained inside with his legs trapped beneath the smashed-in dashboard. Despite the heat and flames licking at them, the teenage boys continued their desperate efforts. One website records these words by Luke:
“It was all we had just to rip him out and drag his legs out and get him to safety. At that point, the car really just caught fire more, and it just kind of burst. The flames just escalated. You know, as we were getting them out, you could see it, the smoke pouring in, and just pure helplessness, and two people begging for their lives is something we’ll never forget.”
No doubt, the youths will not forget—nor, I imagine, will the two people rescued.
In reading about the two teenagers’ heroics, I couldn’t help but think about the number of times I’ve read accounts of people standing by doing nothing while someone suffered or died. If I’m ever in a life-threatening situation or someone I love is, I hope that if someone is in a position to render aid that someone is like Luke or Cody.
It was the right thing for them to do, and it is right that Palm Coast authorities are hailing Luke and Cody as heroes.