Three years ago, a pair of Ohio men saw a Hummer H3 burning at the bottom of an embankment after running off a road. Rushing to the truck, they pulled a woman from the flames. Now they're suing her for damages from the injuries they suffered saving her life.
The two Ohio men, David Kelley and Mark Kincaid, were honored by state officials for risking their lives in saving Teresa Tanner, 28, whose Hummer H3 ran off the road in March 2009 and caught fire. Since then, Kelly told The Columbus Dispatch, he's been haunted by the wreck and slowed by burns:
"All I know is that I am not the same man I used to be," said Kelley, a 39-year-old truck driver and father of five. He says his lungs were so badly damaged from the heavy smoke and fire that day that he now can't carry a laundry basket up the three flights of stairs in his Marion home.
Kincaid's story might be different if he could tell it, but since he's facing felony charges for a separate incident, he declined to speak to the newspaper. Both filed suit in an Ohio county court asking for at least $25,000 in damages from Tanner.
Kelley, who has no medical insurance, says he only decided to sue after hearing from a friend that Tanner's wreck might have been a suicide attempt. The police report states that Tanner argued with someone and talked of ending her life before wrecking her red 2008 H3 with "5POILED" vanity license plates.
While Tanner has yet to respond, rescuers can legally sue for damages if the victim they save was reckless or negligent. And Kelley maintains that were he ever faced with the same situation, he'd jump in to save someone's life again — but with a little more awareness of how much it might cost.