PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth man says he wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the quick actions of a few strangers.
Lewis Lester was driving east on I-64 when he ran off the road and hit a tree.
His car caught fire and he was unconscious.
But a man and woman worked together to get him out and keep him awake.
“I’m just lucky, I really am,” said Lester.
Lester just got out of ICU, and while he may have several serious injuries, he can’t stop thinking about how lucky he is to even be alive.
“God was there, absolutely, there’s no other way around it,” he said.
At that time Salvatore Faraci noticed Lester’s car in the woods.
“I grabbed the window frame from the driver side door and I bent the frame down as much as I could and I reached in, grabbed him, and yanked him out the car,” said Faraci.
When Lester eventually opened his eyes, he saw a woman who’d put a tourniquet on his leg, praying for him.
“God’s watching you, keep talking to me, keep talking to me, don’t stop talking,” Lester recalled her saying.
That woman, Elizabeth Tomlinson, tracked him down and visited him in the hospital.
“I couldn’t get him out of my head, I was like ‘how am I ever going to go on with my life if I don’t know that he’s OK?” explained Tomlinson.
As for Faraci, who pulled him out of the burning car, he had a few words for him as well.
“I can’t think you enough, I really can’t man,”
Lester’s wife, Kelley, happens to be a Chesapeake dispatcher and heard the call come in for the Nightingale that day, not knowing it was her husband.
She says Faraci and Tomlinson are her family’s heroes and she couldn’t be more grateful.
Lester is expected to get out of the hospital in a couple of weeks.