A group of Georgia high school football players and friends are being hailed as heroes for jumping into action and saving a woman from a potentially fiery car crash.
Teammates Treyvon Adams, Tyson Brown, Antwion Carey, Alto Moore, and Cesar Parker, along with classmate Messiah Daniels, helped pull a 50-year-old woman from her car after it was hit outside their high school in Rome, a city about 70 miles northwest of Atlanta.
The crash and rescue took place Friday and involved a small silver car that swerved and struck a white SUV to avoid being hit another car driven by a teen, Rome Police Department Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett told USA TODAY.
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The boys, who are ages 14 to 17 and grew up together, were arriving at school Friday when they saw the wreck.
Luis Goya, who teaches math at the high school, told USA TODAY he was standing outside the school watching students enter when he heard a loud noise just before 8 a.m. He ran to a nearby intersection, saw the crash, and called 911.
“There was smoke coming up from the hood. There was fluid on the ground,” Goya said. “I told the dispatcher, ‘We need to hurry!'”
Treyvon told USA TODAY he watched the crash take place as he drove four of the boys to school.
“It was right in front of me. I turned off the car and jumped out and said, “Hey look, let’s go help her,'” Treyvon, 16, said Monday. “The woman was leaning over into the passenger seat begging for help. She had blood on her face and was screaming.”
Immediately, he said, Alto and Tyson ran to the passenger door and tried to pull it off.
“The vehicle was smoking, the fluids were leaking and I could tell it was about to catch fire had the police not got there quickly, which they did,” Treyvon recalled.
When the boys couldn’t get the door open, the ran to the driver’s side door.
“They literally started using their strength to pry the door open, so the lady could be released,” Goya recalled.
After about 30 seconds of pulling and pushing the door, the boys told USA TODAY in a group interview Monday, they got it open.
Eventually Antwion and Alto pulled the woman out and walked her to the grass.
Meanwhile, Cesar said he and Treyvon “overlooked the premises” and checked on the passenger in the SUV.
The woman, police said, was transported to a local hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises.
Police did not report any other injuries and said the at-fault driver who was not physically involved in the wreck was a 16-year-old boy.
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‘Examples our community can be proud of’
“Thank you, young men, for being examples our community can be proud of!” Rome police posted on Facebook after the crash.
As of Monday, the post had drawn hundreds of comments from community members and beyond, praising their heroism.
In the past, Tyson said, he considered becoming a firefighter after graduation.
“I’m not very good with blood but I’m a helpful person,” Tyson said.
That career path was still on the table Monday, he said.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.