This 19-year-old lifted a pick-up truck with her bare hands to save her dad’s life.
A Virginia teen received a Citizen Lifesaving Award a few days ago, and you won’t believe what she did to get it: the 19-year-old lifted a burning pick-up truck off of her father.
Eric Heffelmire was underneath a GMC truck in his garage, trying to fix some corroded break lines, when the jack that was holding up the truck suddenly collapsed. The truck fell, pinning Heffelmire beneath it and spilling some gasoline, which ignited immediately. Heffelmire was trapped with no way to escape the fire, and he knew was in a bad situation. He tells WUSA9, “I thought they’d be pulling out a dead body later in the evening.”
Luckily, his daughter, Charlotte, was home on a break from the Air Force Academy and came rushing out to the garage when she saw the fire. She was somehow was able to use her 5’6″, 120-pound frame to lift the truck off of her dad. Once he was free, Charlotte realized the burning truck’s gas tank would probably explode, so she hopped in the driver’s seat and gunned it out of the garage on three wheels so the impending explosion wouldn’t engulf the rest of their house.
After that, she closed the garage doors to contain the fire and went back into the house to evacuate the rest of her family, including her three-month-old niece and her grandmother. Oh, she also somehow managed to call 911 during this whole ordeal, because the girl is a total badass.
Charlotte tells WUSA9 she just did what she had to do, and she isn’t “some big hero or anything,” but her local fire department begs to differ. On Thursday night, they presented her with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Citizen Lifesaving Award, and even had a little ceremony honoring her bravery. Charlotte suffered a back injury and burns to her hands and feet in the ordeal, but says her future plans still include going into public service.
There are plenty of urban legends about moms lifting burning cars to rescue trapped kids and the amazing things adrenaline can help us do, but it’s pretty rare to see a current news story about something like this actually happening. Not only was the truck-lifting impressive, but this teen’s quick thinking also saved her house and her entire family. I don’t know many grown adults who’d be able to perform so well or think so clearly under that kind of pressure.
Charlotte may not think her feats are worthy of an award, but they’re absolutely extraordinary, and she should feel very proud. She saved her dad’s life and showed what an every day hero really looks like. Whatever public service she decides to pursue, her future certainly looks bright.