Oklahoma Soldier Awarded Medal Of Valor For Saving Woman From Burning Car
BRAGGS, Oklahoma - If it wasn't for a soldier's quick action after a car wreck, there's a chance a young woman wouldn't have survived.
Members of the 120th engineering battalion gathered at Camp Gruber for a ceremony to honor Sgt. Brandon Dyer.
"This might have been a funeral two years ago, instead of an awards ceremony today," Oklahoma Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Myles Deering said.
It was November 2010 when Dyer, on his way to National Guard training, saw a wreck on Interstate-40.
"Right after she passed me, she lost control, veered off the median and rolled a few times," Dyer said.
Dyer, an ROTC cadet at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, immediately went to get Felicia Gray out of her burning car.
"I just wanted to make sure I got her to safety before that car had a chance to explode," Dyer said.
Seconds counted. Gray's leg was broken in several places. She had broken ribs, and her hip was shattered.
"The heat started popping the tires, so I picked her up and carried her out as fast as I could get her to safety," Dyer said. "As soon as we got to a safe spot, the fuel tank exploded."
For saving Gray's life, Dyer received the Oklahoma Star of Valor medal, the highest honor given to a national guard member who risks their own life to save someone else in a non-combat situation.
"It's a little overwhelming really," Dyer said. "I wasn't expecting anything like this at all."
"We all hope that we have that inside of us, when that time comes that we can react in such a positive way to save a life," Deering said. "He's just a tremendous young man."
Dyer doesn't consider his actions heroic. He just did something that needed to be done.
"If it was my wife, I would hope that somebody would stop and help her," Dyer said.
In his case, Dyers' military training kicked in, enabling him to save a life and to make his family and his state proud.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Dyer said.
The woman Dyer carried to safety away from the burning car is the mother of a 6-month-old baby girl.
She also has another daughter who is 6 years old.