Sgt. 1st Class Mario King and his wife, Adriane King, were traveling along a highway when the tanker crashed and burst into flames in Rockcastle County, Kentucky.
King tells CNN he didn’t even consider the danger as he ran towards the inferno.
With tours in the Middle East, combat hospital training, and a firefighter, his training and instincts took over.
“Being only 170 pounds soaking wet, I didn’t think I had enough strength to pull him out either. Once I grabbed him, I just thought I’m going to drag this guy as far as I can,” King said.
The driver is expected to fully recover.
King reportedly suffered some burned hairs on his arms while pulling the man to safety. He believes he had divine protection that day.
“Never leave a fallen comrade. And by the word comrade, that doesn’t mean your brother or your sister or somebody you know or somebody you work with on a daily basis. That’s a stranger. That’s anybody on the street,” King said.