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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Good Samaritans save 90-year-old Madison man in fiery Slaughter Road crash

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — On November 11th, around 4 o’clock in the evening a car crashed into a ditch off of Slaughter Road at the intersection of Stella Drive. Inside the vehicle, was the driver, a 90-year-old man.

Shortly after the car crashed, it burst into flames. That’s when two Good Samaritans stepped in and pulled him from the fiery vehicle, potentially saving his life.

“I’m very thankful that they were there,” Cyndi Hunter told News 19.

Hunter is the 90-year-old driver’s daughter.

“You see the pictures and the video, it was within seconds that he wouldn’t be here,” she said.

Hunter’s father’s car seconds after he was rescued from inside. (Photo Courtesy of Danny Bennett)

Hunter found out about the crash from neighbors who alerted her minutes after it happened. However, by the time she got to the scene, the mysterious men who pulled her dad from the car had already left.

Remarkably, her father, the driver of the vehicle was uninjured. Hunter said he is home and is just a little shaken up.

The charred remains of the vehicle after the fire burned through. Thankfully, the driver was safely removed from the vehicle without injury.

In the days following the crash, Hunter made it her mission to track down the two Good Samaritans so she could personally thank them. She posted in a local Madison Facebook group, hoping that community members could help identify the two men.

Within just a few days, Hunter was given the names and contact information of the two men. She told News 19 that she got emotional when speaking to them over the phone, because of the weight of her gratitude.

News 19 also saw the Facebook post and reached out to see if we could capture the in-person meeting of the three.

Last Friday, Hunter was able to meet Danny Bennett and Andre Poe in person, just two blocks away from where the car crash happened.

Danny Bennett, Cyndi Hunter, and Andre Poe. Bennett and Poe pulled Hunter’s father from a burning vehicle on Slaughter Road.

Hunter hugged each man and hailed them as heroes.

Bennett and Poe, previously strangers, remain humble about the rescue but shared what happened from their view.

Bennett said other bystanders were scattered around shouting for the driver of the car to “Get out! Get out!”. However, he didn’t think twice about stepping into action.

“I knew I had to act” Bennett said.

Poe said he followed Bennett’s lead.

“I looked up and he was running towards it and I just ran with him,” Poe said.

As both men approached the vehicle, the flames were growing, and they knew they didn’t have a lot of time.

“I knew that the vehicle was engulfed in flames and potentially could explode,” Bennett said. But that didn’t stop them, “I knew whoever was in there needed to go home to their family. I did what I could to extricate him.”

“I’m just thankful, I can’t say it enough,” Hunter told Bennett and Poe during their meeting.

All three agree, that the men were in the right place at the right time.

In fact, Poe, who was on his way home from work, said he typically doesn’t take Slaughter Road home. It was a similar story for Bennett.

Bennett said he was on his way to visit a friend and decided to take Slaughter Road, instead of his usual route of Eastview Drive.

Hunter said she believes divine intervention played a role.

“I can’t think it enough, that God put them in that place at that moment,” she said. “It’s a miracle.”

Hunter said with the accident and rescue happening just a few weeks before the holiday season, she is blessed that her father will still be part of their celebrations.

“Right at Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be thankful for right now,” Hunter said.

Madison Police and Madison Fire & Rescue also responded to the scene of the crash.

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