YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- Thursday, an 84- year-old woman was on her way to celebrate her 59th wedding anniversary when her car took a turn for the worst.
Jean Plowden was in Rock Hill traveling down I-77 Southbound when she clipped a car that was stuck on the side of the road.
“She spun around four lanes of I-77," said Amy McDaniel, Plowden’s daughter. “It was the concrete North and Southbound interstate that actually stopped my mother's car."
Plowden’s car became engulfed in flames. Gasoline surrounded her Chevrolet Traverse as traffic came to a halt with drivers watching in fear. As the flames continued to grow, the Plowden was inside of the car unable to move.
Watching in disbelief, several drivers jumped into action and attempted to save the 84-year-old woman.
"The lady was slumped over the steering wheel not moving, said Vlastimil Smetka. “I thought she might be dead."
Luckily, Plowden was still breathing but if there was anyone that could help her it would be Smetka.
“I’ve been a doctor for 11 years,” Smetka said.
Dr. Smetka works at Providence Health Hospital in Columbia, S.C., and didn’t think twice about trying to help Plowden.
"I told her I would be pulling her out of the car that it was on fire and she looked at me and said please do,” Dr. Smetka said.
“There was another kid there he was probably about 20 years old," Dr. Smetka said.
That kid, or young man father, was Chris Boatwright.
"It was instinct,” said Boatwright .
While he doesn’t have MD in front of his name, the University of South Carolina junior, lifeguard and Eagle Scout has always dedicated his life to helping people.
"As the doctor was pulling her out of that car I noticed she was getting stuck on the seatbelt,” Boatwright said. “I grabbed the envelope cutter and cut the bottom of the seatbelt and just minutes later that car went up in flames."
As Plowden was carried away in an ambulance, her family was amazed at how two strangers came to her aid.
That’s when McDaniel, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida posted the story on Facebook.
"It wasn't until it hit me that my mother could have died," she said. "I did an actual post on Facebook and said searching for heroes and I posted the picture."
Three days and more than 1,000 shares later, she connected with the people who she now calls angels on Earth.
"My mother would not be alive today, they are true heroes, " she said.
Once Plowden is fully recovered, her family plans to reunite her with the people who saved her life.
© 2018 WCNC.COM