Earlier this year Helen Braden and her husband barely made it out of their car before it was engulfed in flames. Braden’s injuries are extensive.
However she’s alive, and she says it’s because of firefighters, deputies and even civilians who stopped to help.
“I remember it being extremely icy,” Thorn Creek Township Fire Captain Greg Green said. “You hit the road and it was like an ice skating rink.”
February 10 was another day on the job for Fire Chief Greg Green. With his training kicking in, he hurried as much as he could on icy State Road 109 in Whitley County to a call.
The call– a car wreck with two people inside the car.
“I remember getting to the scene, a vehicle on its top, chaos. It was on fire,” Green said.
Braden doesn’t remember anything about the chaos. She doesn’t even remember who pulled her from the vehicle, but she found out.
On Monday, she thanked Chief Green and others at the fire department for their role in the morning that changed her life.
Braden and her husband were in the car that February morning. It spun into oncoming traffic after hitting black ice. Eventually the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
“A minute or so later the vehicle was fully engulfed, and I remember thinking wow we had just gotten her out,” Green said.
“At my first actual shower I saw how bad I was burned, and I cried,” Braden said.
Twenty percent of Braden’s body is burned and 17 bones were broken.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for Braden. At her worst times wishing he hadn’t been pulled out of the car.
“When the pain did go away, and finally got past that point I’m so glad they did [rescue me] because if they hadn’t put their life on the line my husband wouldn’t have a wife, my dad wouldn’t have a daughter,” Braden said.
The meeting was every bit a part of Braden’s physical and emotional recovery.