LA PORTE – A Good Samaritan who pulled a stranger out a burning vehicle in La Porte believes his act of heroism came from a higher power.
Daniel Silvas dragged a man twice his size from a burning SUV last Thursday morning. The whole thing was recorded by a surveillance camera.
"I just jumped into action," Silvas said. "I can’t really explain it."
Silvas lives three blocks from the crash scene in the 9500 block of Spencer Highway. It’s close enough to hear tires squeal on the road. Normally, Silvas ignores the noise. Thursday was different.
"Something told me I needed to go," Silvas said.
The SUV crashed through poles, signs and curbs until it could roll no further. For some reason, the driver stayed on the gas, burning rubber, sparking fire near his gas tank.
While others drove by, Silvas rushed to help rescue the driver.
"He was making moaning sounds and he was stiff as a rock," Silvas said. "As soon as I seen that, I was making sure he was OK. Got his seat belt off and pulled him away from the fire."
Moments later, that SUV was a fire ball.
"The way I see it, God was using me," Silvas said.
He said he has stopped to help strangers in need twice before.
Maybe his courage comes from his past. Doctors diagnosed Silvas with stage 4 brain cancer two years ago. After surgery and 48 rounds of radiation, he is now cancer free.
"I feel like a hero," Silvas said.
The La Porte police department agrees and they plan to honor Silvas with a certificate of merit.