TOWN OF WILNA, N.Y. (WWNY) - A Watertown man is likely alive thanks to a couple who was in the right place at the right time.
Daniel and Nicole House, who were were traveling from western New York to Lake Placid for their honeymoon, happened upon something on Route 3A in the town of Wilna on Saturday evening.
“We were rounding a corner and saw a fire, which we really didn’t know what we were driving up on. We just thought someone was having a bonfire on the side of the road, but then we saw it was a vehicle and the man who witnessed the crash actually was flagging us down desperately. So we pulled over and pretty much as soon as we pulled over and got out of the vehicle, that’s when we learned that there was a man trapped inside that vehicle,” said Nicole.
That’s when Daniel and Nicole started running towards the flames.
“I took off running towards the vehicle to yank him out,” said Daniel.
Nicole knew exactly what to do.
“I’m a nurse so my natural instinct is you go and help. You don’t second guess. He even said to me, ‘I’m not going to watch a man burn alive,’” she said.
The couple said the crash victim, 25 year old Michael Thibeault, was unconscious and attempts by another witness to get him out were unsuccessful.
The Houses grabbed hold of Thibeault’s arms and pulled him out of the wreckage through the sunroof.
“I checked for a pulse right away. I did a quick assessment, pulled up his shirt and saw that there was a huge puncture wound and you could physically see that the lung was deflated,” said Nicole.
The Houses admit they didn’t think Thibeault would make it, but according to his fiancée, Thibeault is doing okay in a Syracuse hospital, though he suffered collapsed lungs, serious lacerations, a broken ankle and head trauma.
For the Houses, it was not what they expected as they were driving through the north country.
“We were on our way to our honeymoon. So right now we are in Lake Placid on our honeymoon. I truly believe this is all right time, right place and it was a miracle,” said Nicole.
As for what happened in the crash, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies said speed was a factor and when Thibeault missed a curve, his vehicle went into a ditch, struck a tree, overturned and caught fire.