INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN/Tribune/CNN) - A massive fire shutting down two interstates could be seen from miles away, but Holly McNally had a much closer view.
“And we see a plume of smoke, huge smoke, it looked like a warehouse was on fire.” And I slowed down and I saw the actual semi on fire, And then I look to the front of the semi and I see a man on fire,” she said.
McNally was on her way home with her mom and pulled up on the truck driver right after he crashed into the barrier, watching as fire consumed him and his truck.
“And I’m scanning and people are video taping and watching, but no one was going over there,” she said. "So I told my mom, ‘I’m stopping, I’m going over there.'’
McNally and another man both ran to the driver and quickly put out the fire on him before realizing the worst was yet to come.
“We got him out, and we start to walk away. And I see this huge stream of liquid and I could smell it. I said, ‘Jeff honey, what were you hauling?’ And he said jet fuel. And I was like ‘Oh my gosh,’” she said.
Her shoes now soaked in jet fuel, McNally and the other man knew they had to move quick, especially knowing who was waiting for them at home.
“We’re trying to carry him down and it’s getting closer and closer. And the second explosion went off. And like smoke was hitting us and I was just praying like `God, please let us get out of here so I can see my baby,'” she said.
Four days ago, McNally gave birth to a son, Connor. He’s still in the neonatal intensive care unit where McNally had just been minutes before pulling up to the fire.
“I thought, what if that’s my son? What if that’s Connor when he’s 30? Would you want somebody to just leave him there?” she said.
Luckily the three of them made it before the fire spread. The 59-year-old truck driver was badly burned and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
She hopes her story of selflessness might encourage others to do the same.
"My mom was like, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t just run away’ and I’m like, 'I’m not going to leave somebody.’ I wish everybody was like that, you know? I mean, everybody should help everybody.”