Incredible Teen Climbs Back Into Burning Car to Rescue Big Brother

car fireWhen you marry an only child, there's one relationship in your life that's hard to explain. At times, my brother and I are so dissimilar, it's hard to believe we're related. And yet there's no one in this world I can count on quite the same way. So I wasn't exactly surprised to hear about the 15-year-old Michigan boy who pulled his brother from a burning car to save his life.

Yes, I was awed and moved by Dillon Gardner's heroism. But I wasn't surprised. When you have a sibling, that's just something you do for them, isn't it?


OK, I admit the actual details of how Dillon saved brother Dane's life gave me chills. According to Michigan's Morning Sun, Dillon was reading a magazine in the passenger seat when 17-year-old Dane hit a patch of ice and lost control of his car this week, crashing into a tree.

But the fact that he didn't see the crash coming didn't keep Dillon from acting fast. He had kicked his door open and was able to get out when he realized Dane was knocked out, and the car had caught on fire. He went back in, ripped out the passenger console to get his brother loose, and pulled him to safety. Somehow he'd lost his shoes in the whole kerfuffle, so Dillon then walked, carrying his bleeding, now conscious and upset brother, completely barefoot until a truck driver spotted them and picked them up.

Now that is a teenager who knows what is important in life. Bravo to Dillon for his bravery. And bravo to the Gardners for teaching their sons that family matters more than anything else in this world. 

As I raise an only child, and I'm married to an only child, it's something that I can say parents with two or more kids can impart more easily. Siblings drive you absolutely nuts at times. But if you ask me who I most trust with my child -- beyond my husband and parents of course -- it's my brother. He'd throw himself in front of a moving train for her. If you asked me who (again, after husband and parents) I would want to be at my side when my childhood dog died or who I'd enter a burning car to save, it would be him.

Do your kids realize just how important their siblings are in life?


Image via Jess Beemouse/Flickr

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