Letter Carrier Eric Reyes was delivering mail on a fall day last year in Escondido, CA, when two vehicles collided nearby.
While several passersby aided occupants of an overturned car, Reyes rushed to the other vehicle, in which the driver and his girlfriend, Angelique Arenas, were trapped.
Unable to unbuckle their seatbelts and aware that the car was on fire, Reyes quickly obtained a knife from an onlooker, freed the couple and pulled them to safety before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Arenas, 19, who sustained significant injuries, told the local NBC station that she was grateful for Reyes.
“I will never be able to repay him,” she said. “He saved my life, definitely.”
Despite the prospect of a long recovery, Arenas is embracing the future, which she hopes will include going back to school and studying medicine.
“It just makes me feel so good to be here, to be alive on this Earth,” she said.