POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Two men who stopped to help before first responders arrived to the scene of a fiery crash will receive the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Honorary Trooper Certificate.
The crash happened on Oct. 7 on Missouri Highway 142 near Naylor.
According to the highway patrol, Heath Moon, a U.S. Postal Service employee, was on the job when he drove up on the scene of the crash. An adult and child were trapped in the burning vehicle.
Moon told investigators the vehicle was already on fire when he got to the scene and he tried to put it out with a water bottle, but that didn't work.
That's when he took the 3-year-old out still strapped into his child safety seat and ran back to try and get the driver out.
After two failed attempts, a second person drove up to the scene and jumped out to help.
Moon and Jeffrey Thomas were able to get the driver away from the burning vehicle.
The troopers that responded to the scene said when they arrived, the driver, Daniel Mitchell of Naylor, was lying on the north side of the highway about 100 feet from the burning vehicle. Both of his legs were broken and he had a serious cut on the head.
The three-year-old, who was also hurt, had been placed inside another bystander's vehicle and out of harms way.
Both Mitchell and the toddler were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Troopers believe that had they not jumped into action, the story could have had a much different ending.
"The actions of Mr. Moon and Mr. Thomas were exemplary," said Captain Vitale. "They both uphold the motto of the Missouri State Highway Patrol of service and protection. I am certain the injured occupants would have not been able to exit the burning vehicle on their own and without the assistance of Mr. Moon and Mr. Thomas. Their quick response and unselfish disregard for their own personal safety prevented two certain deaths from occurring."
Moon and Thomas will be honored at a presentation on Monday, Nov. 28 at Troop E Headquarters in Poplar Bluff.