Justin Gavin, an 18-year old teen from Connecticut, has been acknowledged for his heroic act that saved a mother and her three children from a burning car.
Gavin was just walking along the streets when the burning car drove past him. Other cars started honking and getting off their cars to alert the driver. When he saw it and realized that the driver cannot stop the car, he chased it down to help them escape.
“I’m yelling, ‘Stop the car! Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire!’ I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out. I guess my instincts took over,” Gavin told Upworthy.
When the car stopped, helped the mother who was driving the car to get out of the driver seat. He then immediately pulled the three children, aged 1, 4, and 9, out of the burning car as the flames grew larger.
“It kind of got scary because I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to get everyone out in time. And luckily, I did,” he said.
The mother is very grateful for Gavin for rescuing her and her family. The Waterbury Police Department has awarded him with a “challenge coin,” a token of appreciation for his courageous act.
“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved,” Chief Fernando Spagnolo said about Gavin.
Moreover, Gavin took the incident as an experience that reminded him that “life is short” and he has been inspired to use it to make a more positive difference.