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Men save woman from this burning car, then sue her

Illustration for article titled Men save woman from this burning car, then sue her

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.

Illustration for article titled Men save woman from this burning car, then sue her

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.


You can keep up with Justin Hyde, the author of this post, on Twitter or Facebook.

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Listen up. Life is a series of 'Damned if you do, damned if you don't''s. As soon as you decide to get out of bed, you are signing a contract stating that you are accepting the burden of having to make decisions, some of which have no clear winner. Some of your decisions will be right, some of them will be wrong, and some of them won't be right or wrong, they'll just be done.

And some of them will be wrong no matter what the hell you do.

In cases like these, you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. It is then that you treat it like Ben & Jerry's. 'Hmmm...what flavor of 'Damn!' do I feel like today?" Either way, you're going to be eating that damned shitty ice cream whether you like it or not. Why? Because you decided to be alive today. So man up and weigh your consequences just like everyone else usually forgets to.

In this case, you have to weigh the consequences of saving the spoiled brat versus not saving the spoiled brat.

If you save her, you get smoke poisoning, second and third degree burns from the flames and possibly nightmares and PTSD from the incident. You also hopefully get her eternal gratitude as well as that of her loved ones along with a level of pride knowing that you saved a human life and are officially a hero. You even have a medal to prove it. But now you dream of fire every night and you can't even jack off because your hand is one giant piece of overcooked bologna and you get wheezy just unzipping your pants during Sailor Moon reruns. Damn.

If you don't save her, congratulations. You're a dick. However, you didn't risk anything so your lungs are fine, you didn't get burned, and you sleep like a baby every night. Or do you? Now you have a new problem: shame. A girl died because you decided to be selfish and protect your own well-being. It gets worse than that, though, because chances are you probably stood there and watched her burn. And heard her scream. And then heard the screams suddenly just stop. Just like everyone else who stood around and did nothing. And because nobody else jumped in and decided to help her, nobody can point blame. So the only person who has to know your shame is yourself, so it's not all bad, right? Right. Except for every time you wake up in the dead of night, sobbing because you can still smell the smoke and hear the screams suddenly just...stop. Damn.