Oklahoma Couple Credits Marine Veteran With Saving Them From Fiery Crash

Friday, July 2nd 2021, 10:00 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

An Oklahoma couple said the grace of God and the kindness of strangers saved them from a fiery crash on the Turner Turnpike Monday.

The driver of the SUV that crashed told News On 6 he has helped others whose cars have broken down along the turnpike. Steve Hanna said he never imagined he and his wife, Gretchen Hanna, would also need help one day, but they are grateful people stepped in just in time.

The attorney from Oklahoma City and his wife were on their way to Tulsa for work and were near the Bristow exit when they hit ponding.

"When we hit that spot and started hydroplaning, I just started a new job and the only thought that went through my brain was, 'Hey, at least I've got more life insurance for the kids,' because I thought we were gone,” said Steve Hanna. “I really did."

The Hannas said witnesses told them the SUV flipped five times and came to rest against a guardrail. That is when a Marine Corps veteran from Broken Arrow, Todd Bell, who was driving the opposite direction, pulled over and ran across the turnpike to help.

"I had to reach in and pulled the man out through the sunroof, and then when I got the man out of the car and seated on the ground, I got in the car to get the wife out," explained Bell.

Moments later, the SUV went up in flames.

"Just very glad that people stopped and helped to get us out," said Gretchen Hanna.

The couple said they both had concussions, cuts, and bruises but no internal injuries. The Hannas also said they will forever be grateful to Bell and others who stopped.

"I'm truly appreciative and thankful,” said Steve Hanna.

As for Bell, he said his five deployments gave him the experience to step in that day, but he sees helping others as a civic duty.

"I don't really classify myself as a hero for doing something that I think everyone should do," said Bell.

Bell also said his truck died earlier that day, and it was an attorney who stopped to help him. He said being able to help another attorney the same day made it all come full circle.