Editor's Note: This story was originally published Sept. 28, 2017.
MANDEVILLE -- An extraordinary act by two ordinary men is being recognized.
Michael Washington and Darien Williams are credited with saving 90-year-old Manuel Lytell from a fast-moving car fire two Fridays ago.
"I was coming over the Causeway and then all of a sudden the airbag popped me in my face and I was trying to get the airbag from my face," Lytell said, "Then, first thing I looked down, they had a fire going. I thought my shirt was on fire, but the seat was on fire."
Authorities say Lytell's muffler had been dragging, causing sparks that eventually ignited.
Two women, who had been watching the sparks from driving behind Lytell, stopped on the East Causeway Approach when he did.
That's when Washington and Williams, two Mandeville Public Works employees, passed by the area to get gas.
"Some ladies on the side of the road waving for people to stop, but no one would stop," Washington said. "So we took it in our initiative to go over there to help."
"We just went with our first mind," Williams said. "The window was down so we just had to think."
"They seen that I was in trouble, and they seen the smoke. And man, they tried to open up the passenger side, and they couldn't open the door," Lytell said. "So lucky I had the glass down and said you gotta get outta here."
"Well I got him from underneath his arm and scooped him," Washington said. "I was struggling, struggling and I pulled him out. As I pulled him out, that's when he came to assist and we laid him down."
The rescue left the Korean War veteran a little scratched up, but eternally grateful.
As for the Good Samaritans, they say they're honored to have saved Lytell's life and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
"Anybody," Washington said. "I would want somebody to do for my mom or grandfather or something like that."
At this time, no one knows who the two women are, but expressions of extreme gratitude are extended to them as well.
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