Off-Duty Firefighter 'Wasn't Thinking About Own Safety' When He Saved Two People in Plane Wreckage - NBC Southern California

Off-Duty Firefighter 'Wasn't Thinking About Own Safety' When He Saved Two People in Plane Wreckage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    John Meffert rescued a pilot and his passenger after a plane crashed onto a Southern California Freeway. The off-duty firefighter talks about the experience during a news conference on Friday, June 30, 2017.

    (Published Friday, June 30, 2017)

    John Meffert was looking forward to a Palm Springs vacation Friday when a small plane fell from the sky, hit the median, spun out and stopped in front of his car.

    The 17-year veteran of the Orange County Fire Authority got out of his car and his training and instincts kicked in.

    "I wasn't even thinking about my own safety," he said.

    The off-duty fire captain saw the plane's female passenger pop her head up. She was alive.

    405 Freeway Plane Crash Victims Recovering

    [LA-ONLY] 405 Freeway Plane Crash Victims Recovering

    Video after the plane crash shows the victims after the wreck. The couple in the Cessna was expected to recover, doctors said. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017.

    (Published Saturday, July 1, 2017)

    "If she could be there, I thought I could be there," he said.

    He pulled the passenger out of the wreckage and whisked her to safety.

    Then he dragged the pilot out and moved him to a safe spot as emergency crews descended on the scene.

    The two people aboard the plane — a man and woman in their 50s and 60s — were taken to the hospital with traumatic injuries.

    Four cars were struck by parts of the plane.

    Meffert was surprised by the number of drivers who risked their safety to help.
     
    "A lot of people were ready to help," he said. "I just happened to be in a position that maybe I was the first one there.

    "It's kinda what we do. I wasn't looking for any fame. We're always here to help people."

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