Hometown Heroes: USAFA cadet saves truck driver after rollover

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FOX21 and the American Red Cross are once again honoring our Hometown Heroes: people who exemplify courage, kindness, and unselfish character. 

Air Force Academy Cadet Kristen Nye was in the right place at the right time. 

“He came off the freeway right there,” Nye said. “He hit the roundabout there and was going way too fast.”

Nye saw the whole accident unfold. 

“Tipped over right at the edge of the median, right onto the driver’s side,” Nye said. 

A large cement truck rolled over near the North Gate entrance just off Interstate 25. 

“I didn’t even turn my truck off,” Nye said. “I just ran out. I smelled the gasoline that was leaking out of the engine, and one of my thoughts was ‘this might actually blow up and kill me, but I’m going to do it anyway.” 

After calling 911, she helped comfort the driver before help arrived. 

“I was talking to the driver, making sure he was conscious,” she said. “He was slightly there. Really out of it. And then I helped him remove debris out of the dash that was all fallen on top of him.” 

As an Air Force Academy Cadet First Class, Nye credits her quick thinking to the constant instruction she’s already received. 

“Since I’ve been here for three and a half years now, a little over that, we’re trained to deal with a lot of pressures and make good decisions in the moment, so it’s not necessarily just your school assignments, your military training. It’s a combination of everything. And so without really realizing it, all that has prepared me for this moment.” 

With her military training, Nye doesn’t look at what she did as being a hero, but just doing her job.

“I couldn’t drive past an accident, even if I wanted to,” she said. “It’s just my instinct to want to help people.” 

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