Elias Uribe, of Parker County, Texas, can’t thank the stranger who stopped to help him enough. He calls the woman a hero and says she was like an angel to him in his moment of need.
Uribe lost control of his 18-wheel rig on Interstate 30 which was slick with rain. The truck crashed near downtown Dallas and burst in flames. He tried to escape the cab but discovered the door was jammed. Fear set in when he noticed the flames were just inches from his elbow. Another few seconds and Elias would have been burnt himself.
As the flames crept closer, a stranger appeared from out of the blue. Elias could hear the voice of a woman asking if he could get out of the truck, if he was okay and warning him that the truck was ablaze.
Terry Sims was driving through the area on her way home from work when she came upon the flame-engulfed truck. The flames were shooting out from beneath the truck so she stopped to help.
Sims was frightened for her own safety but knew she was the only one who could do something. The door wouldn’t budge so she pulled him through the window as the fire steadily grew. She remembers being afraid the rig would just blow up.
Uribe could barely walk but Sims helped him to safety. He leaned on her and she pulled him the whole distance. A scant few minutes later, the cab of the truck where Elias had been stuck was in flames. He credits Sims with saving his life.
The father of three children, Eliazar, 8, Elizabeth, 10, and Elias Jr., 12 is grateful to be alive. Had he died in the crash, his children would have been left orphans as his wife Dolores died in an automobile crash near their home last May.
For Elias, that makes what Sims did even more significant. He says he doesn’t know the words to use to thank her properly for her efforts. The experience has made him realize how fragile life really is.