HOUSTON -- Where Highways 288 and 59 converge, scattered pieces of debris and a skid mark are the only remnants of a story that could have ended very differently were it not for the courage of one man.

He managed to pull the driver from her car mere seconds before it was engulfed in fire.

I could smell the smoke, and my first thought was that car was going to go up in flames really quick, said Marc Guillen, an employee of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

It was 9:40 p.m. Guillen was driving south on Highway 288 with friends on their way home from dinner when he ran across the smoldering car. He stopped while others didn't.

When he looked inside the car, he found the driver, 51-year-old Nita Ausbie, in shock and huddled on the floorboard.

I saw blood all over her, Guillen said. So I ran to the other side and started pulling the door open. It was stuck, so I got a little bit of it open and put my body inside to push it open.

With the help of his friends, he pulled her to safety.

I thank him very much that I'm still alive and will be able to see my grandkids again, Ausbie said.

He wasn't the only one who saw that car on the side of the road ... and yet he was the only one, or at least the first one to stop and lend support, said Megan Cornelison, a co-worker of Guillen s. It says a lot about his character, but nothing I didn t already know. He displays that kind of character every day.

I think anyone would do it if they saw someone in need of help, Guillen said.

It seems his courage is surpassed only by his modesty.

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