DeWitt Teens Describe Harrowing Florida Rescue

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Two DeWitt teens, now heroes, say they were just followong their instincts when they rescued two people from a burning car in Florida.

Cody Decker and Luke Vaughn, both 17, are in Palm Coast for spring break. Early Tuesday morning, they found themselves in the middle of a life-threatening situation.

They were trying to get back into the condo they were staying at, when a car crashed and burned into flames. Two people were trapped.

The teens say they had no time to think, only time to act.

"We see this car just go flying past and we look at each other like whoa," Vaughn said.

Decker took off running and Vaughn called 911. Both knew the 1 a.m. crash on Palm Coast Parkway could easily become a fatal one.

"It was almost in two pieces, that car was done," Decker described.

"The engine was laying in front of it and it was wrapped around a tree," Vaughn added.

Inside, were 42-year-old Carlos Adams and Tracy Lopez, 44.

"They were screaming at us, telling us get them out, get them out and the flames just kept getting closer and closer," Vaughn said.

The teens say the Jaguar's door was stuck, so they broke the windows and bent the frame of the door. They were able to drag Lopez to safety, but Adams legs were crushed by the car.

"He was wedged in there and pinched in," Vaughn explained. "We had to get under his arms and basically rip him out of the car and aspects we were able to get him out, as we dragged him out and got him away from the car it basically exploded."

Decker and Vaughn say flames shot ten feet in the air.

The victims were rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Vaughn and Decker were treated for minor cuts from the glass.

As for the harrowing situation, they say it has given them a spring break to remember.

"You know everybody is saying we're heroes and stuff but really the important thing is these people, we were able to save their lives," Vaughn said.

The Flagler County Sheriff plans to recognize the teens' actions at a 10 a.m. ceremony on Thursday.

Vaughn and Decker say their cuts are healing already and they're eager to enjoy the rest of their vacation.

They tell News 10 they went surfing Wednesday. They're due back in Michigan on Saturday.

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  • by Jason Location: Jackson on Apr 4, 2012 at 11:37 PM
    Congratulations to these brave young men.
  • by Linda on Apr 4, 2012 at 07:38 PM
    Wow what an awesome story. These two young men are true heros. They put their safety aside to help others in danger. Kudos to the parents of these two for raising such fine young men. We ned more teens like this in todays world.
  • by Wendy Location: DeWitt on Apr 4, 2012 at 07:18 PM
    What a true good Samaritan Story, prayers for all involved!!
  • by Valgus Location: Oxter, MI on Apr 4, 2012 at 05:21 PM
    Congratulations! You young men help restore hope in your generation, which usually consists of negative news. The Mayor, if not the Florida State governor, should send these two heroic gentleman home with commendations, recognition, and certification of their life saving action.
  • by Julie Location: Mason on Apr 4, 2012 at 03:50 PM
    Wow... two young men did an amazing thing.. and the only comments I see are about the spelling and grammar of the article?? Unbelievable!! Great job Cody and Luke.. you guys are real HEROS!! And kudos to your parents for raising such great kids!
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