A Bay area family is thanking first responders for saving their daughter's life during a time of crisis. Anne Marie Fanning, 22, is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after being extracted from her car following a July 27th accident near Brandon Mall.
The accident started with a sound.
"We heard this loud bang. And we kind of looked at each other, wondering what it was," Deputy David Webb recalled.
The noise was the sound of Fanning's car, being crushed by a SUV that ran a stop sign, struck a median, went airborne and then landed on top of her Mazda.
The deputies rushed to the scene to find a tangle of twisted metal. The SUV's engine compartment was in a blaze, hovering on top of Fanning's car.
"When I saw the fire, I immediately went to my trunk and got the fire extinguisher out," Deputy Steve Figueredo said Monday.
The two deputies went through all six of their extinguishers, miraculously, battling the blaze just long enough until firefighters arrived.
The SUV crushed Fanning's car to the point that the USF senior had to be carefully cut out of the vehicle. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue's Lt. Casie Pritchard clung to the car the whole time.
"I told her when I got in the car, 'I'm not leaving without you," she said.
The driver of the SUV, 38-year old Donald Ward, fled the scene following the crash, but was later caught and is now facing felony charges.
Anne Marie's family is focusing on her second shot at life, thanks to the service of complete strangers.
"I can't put into words. I'm forever in debt to you guys. You saved my sister's life," Anne Marie's brother, Billy said Monday.
Anne Marie is still recovering in the Intensive Care Unit of TGH, but her family has faith that she will make a full recovery. Despite the trauma she faced, her family says she recognizes all of them and appears to have no major burn or brain injuries.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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