Two Good Samaritans saved the life of a 71-year-old man Friday, who Manatee County investigators said lit himself on fire in an attempt to commit suicide.
It happened at a little after 11 a.m. on Lockwood Ridge Road, near the intersection of 59th Avenue East. Micha Rhine and Travis Miller, a husband and wife who had just finished working on a job building a fence in the same community, saw the flames in the roadway.
As they approached, they realized a man was on fire.
"And we're like, 'holy cow, there's a guy on fire!'" Miller said. "I pour out of the vehicle and she's running around and I pull him away and, I'm just like, 'get the cooler, get something!'"
Rhine and Miller poured water and ice on the victim, but that didn't completely douse the fire. Miller used his shirt and other spare ones in his pickup truck to smother the remaining flames.
"The only thing he was saying was, 'let me go, let me go, leave me alone,'" Miller said.
The husband and wife said they couldn't leave a man they'd never met to die and didn't hesitate to run to his rescue.
"You just didn't really have time to think either. We just jumped into action, tried to take care of him best we could," Miller said.
"I didn't have time for anything to cross my mind really it was strictly jumping out of the truck and moving and getting what I can to get the fire out," Rhine said, adding she's praying the victim pulls through. "It'll feel so much better if he makes it. It really will."
Manatee County deputies said the victim is badly burned and was critical condition as of late Friday afternoon.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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