MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A grandfather said two “angels” saved him from his burning car following a crash Thursday night in Montgomery County.

Ryan Campbell met with the two men in Palmyra to thank them for their heroic efforts on Monday, May 1.

“If it weren’t for these gentlemen right here, you know, yesterday would have been my funeral,” Campbell said with tears in his eyes.

It’s an emotional reality for Campbell. In his own words, every good story has a hero or an angel, but in this story, he has both.

“Saved his life, man. That was crazy,” said Nathan Forrest, who lives just across the street from where the crash happened.

It was around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, on Highway 13. The fog was thick and it was raining as Campbell drove his van down a windy hill.

“It was just like a slip ‘n’ slide, so whoop on down I went,” he explained. 

Campbell traveled off the highway some 15 feet down a steep slope and into a tree.

“He heard a noise like a thud, like a wreck,” Forrest explained, gesturing to his friend Austin Neely.

The two rushed out to see a car crushed and on fire.

“We knew what we had to do and went in there and helped him out and tried to get him out of there as soon as possible,” Neely explained. 

It was a difficult task as Campbell was in and out of consciousness behind the wheel; his door was jammed and his leg was stuck between the steering wheel and seat. The two friends, however, worked together and pulled Campbell through the window of the wrecked van.

“He pretty much threw him on his shoulder. I had him by his belt buckle. He was just pulling him up the hill. It was all wet and stuff so it was pretty hard, but it had to be done,” stated Forrest.

The men pulled Campbell out within minutes of the flames spreading throughout the van, shooting some 20 feet into the air as they carried Campbell across the street to safety.

“It was definitely a few minutes, few minute time crunch of saving his life for sure.”

Campbell said angels surrounded him that night. While his ear was ripped from his head and his collar bone was broken, he’s thankful to be alive.

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“That took a lot of brave act to go in there, put yourself in danger for someone you don’t know,” he told the young men. “I hope you guys get the best things in life, because if it wasn’t for you, I couldn’t.”

Campbell, who has four children and six grandkids said while this may be the first time he’s met his angels, it wont be the last; they have a new friend for life.