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A Big Thank You

Posted on: 6:35 pm, August 14, 2012, by , updated on: 11:23pm, August 14, 2012

NEWFOUNDLAND — A week after being pulled from her burning car, a college student from Wayne County is offering a big thank you to two passers-by who she says saved her life.

Sara Vandergriff’s car was a ball of flames seconds after two men pulled her to safety last week along Route 191 south of Honesdale.

It was an inferno, flames shooting in the air.

Now, Vandergriff is home near Newfoundland recovering from the crash with a steal plate in her broken arm, surrounded by balloons and a sign of support.  She tells us she survived those flames because those two guys passing by came to her rescue.

“I think God was definitely on my side that day.  He put those men there to help me get out on time and, you know, so I have a lot to be thankful for,” said Vandergriff.

“I don’t want to hear the hero thing. We did what we needed to do to help somebody,” said one of her rescuers, Bill Lather last week after the crash.

Newswatch 16 talked with Bill Lather and Gordy Potratz the day after they came upon the crash last Tuesday.

They said the car was already burning and Vandergriff was stuck inside. They said they just did what they had to do to save her.

“It was amazing.  They said they’re not heroes, but they really are, because I probably wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t been there to pull me out, so they’re heroes in my eyes!” said Vandergriff.

“We have our daughter because of them, we really do,” said John Vandergriff, Sara’s father.

The grateful dad now helps nurse his daughter back to health.

“You think about it and you get all teary and they’re incredible people, they really are,” he said.

Sara Vandergriff talked to us with a brace on her broken arm and a bloodshot eye, in her mind, minor injuries.  She knows she’s lucky to be talking to us or anyone after that wreck.

“I mean they saved my life and now I’m here to say thank you to them and otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been,” she said.

The Vandergriffs say they hope to hold a big family party and invite the two rescuers as a way of thanking them and showing them how grateful they are that Sara is still alive because of them.

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