COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A man is being called as a hero after he rescued a father and daughter from their burning car. The victims' family say Mike Burgess is an angel on Earth for helping save their loved ones.
It all began Sunday night on Highway 34 East near the NCG Cinemas on Fischer Crossing Boulevard in Sharpsburg. Burgess says he noticed two cars collide head-on. He says the Porsche was hit hard.
"Oh the car was completely engulfed in flames," he said.
When he noticed no one getting out of the car, he ran over and saw Tim Williams inside, severely injured. He helped him out and asked if anyone else was inside.
"And he said my daughter is inside," Burgess said.
Burgess says the car was filled with smoke and was on fire. He knew it was a dangerous situation.
"A lady yelled at me to get away from the car and I said 'I can't. There's somebody inside," he told Channel 2's Tom Jones.
Burgess says he kept trying to get the semi-conscious 19-year-old Kimerli Williams out of the car, but was overcome by smoke. He got out of the car, got a breath of fresh air and then resumed his rescue efforts.
"I just kept telling myself, 'You can't leave her,' he said. And when I went in that last time, I don't know any other way to say it other than, the good Lord parted that smoke and there she was. And there the seatbelt was," Burgess recalled, reliving the moment.
He suddenly realized it was the seatbelt that made it difficult to get her out. He unbuckled the seatbelt and removed her from the car. Tim Williams' brother says his family is eternally grateful for Burgess' heroic actions.
"If it wasnt for his efforts they woudln't be here today," Ted Williams explained. "For somebody that would go in a car thats burning several times to rescue somebody they don't know while they're own child is sitting there watching it is just incredible."
Burgess says he was just doing what he hopes anyone would do.
"I guess just somebody needed some help," he said.
Tim Williams is at Atlanta Medical Center where he has had two surgeries and must undergo extensive rehabiliation. His daughter has had one surgery and is expected to be released within a week or so.
The family plans to meet with Burgess to get to know him and thanks him for his heroic actions.
"It was a very heroic action," Ted Williams said.