Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Bair won’t go down in history as one of the most memorable players in team history but he should go down as one of the most courageous.
Bair recently saved a man from a burning vehicle in the nick of time. Nate Eaton of East Idaho News has the story:
“I was on Highway 20 driving to my business when I saw the train hit the truck. There was an explosion right away, and the train was pushing the truck down the tracks. I got on the phone with 911 and started driving down the median to get to the front of the train when it stopped.”
The crash happened around 5:45 p.m. on East 400 North near North 2300 East in St. Anthony. The train struck the semi on the passenger side, and [25-year-old Steven] Jenson was pinned inside the driver’s seat, unable to move.
Bair ran across the highway as the conductors were getting out of the train. Smoke filled the air, and flames covered the front of the train and the semi.
“The conductors clearly couldn’t breathe because of all the smoke in the cab,” Bair recalls. “They warned me not to go near the truck because it was up in flames.”
Bair heard a voice from inside the cab and knew he had to act fast. His family flashed through his mind as he realized he was putting his life on the line. He ran up to the truck, but the only accessible way to get to Jenson was a small rear window between the passenger and driver’s seat.
“It was a conscious decision that I’m going in because he needs help right now,” Bair says. “I ran up to the window and saw dripping hot flames all over inside of the truck. I could see a guy in a seatbelt and was able to reach in and get it off of him. He was talking, and I told him we had to get out of here now.”
Even though the seatbelt was off, Jenson was still pinned inside the cab. Bair climbed halfway in as the two worked together to break the steering wheel and other equipment. The 6’6″, 260-pound football player then pulled Jenson out the “teeny window.”
“We walked away, and within seconds, the fire on the roof fell down inside, and the whole seat and cab went up in flames. A few minutes later, there were a couple big booms and explosives,” Bair recalls.
I recently drove within sight of a car fully engulfed in flames on the side of the highway and it was one of the scariest things I’ve seen. All I could think about was if the occupant(s) got out in time as firemen were trying to hose it down.
It’s pretty amazing that Bair was able to save this young man’s life. He told East Idaho News that he doesn’t consider himself a hero but he clearly is.
For those who might not remember, Bair spent three years with the Eagles during Chip Kelly’s tenure. The Oregon alumnus signed with Philly’s practice squad in 2013 before playing 21 games in 2014 and 2015 combined. Bair logged 28 tackles and 1.5 sacks before retiring ahead of the 2016 season.