MOLINE, III (KWQC) -- An update now on a story from Monday night. A truck engulfed in flames on Interstate 280. The driver rescued and safe when a passerby jumped in to help. Friday afternoon, the two meet for the first time since the accident.
“Thank you so much, thank you so much,” said Carols Valdez, thanking the man who saved his life.
Two men, random strangers embracing each other after a near-death experience for one of them.
“I could see some flames coming from below the vehicle and my buddies could as well. I said there's a person in there and I just don't think they realize the vehicle is on fire,” said Brad Hauman, the driver who saved Carlo’s life.
That person in the burning car was Carlos Valdez. Brad Hauman is his hero.
“You saw there was a lot of cars that go through and nobody stopped. Thank you so much. Like I said to my friend, you are my angel,” said Valdez.
Last week, Hauman and his friends were driving in the opposite direction and saw Valdez's car pulled over on the side of the road and flames coming from underneath.
“We took the Walcott exit and crossed the interstate and came back. I was able to tell this gentleman your vehicle is on fire. You need to get out,” said Hauman.
A gesture that Valdez says literally saved his life.
“I was thinking you were going to Davenport, so, I didn't know you were going a different direction. That was extra nice,” said Valdez.
An extra step taken by Hauman, as dozens of others passed on by.
“I just knew it would be important to give him the warning to get out of there. I am really glad we did,” said Hauman.
It’s now led to this, the two coming together to meet for the first time after Hauman wife saw the story of Valdez looking for his “rescue angel”.
“I am happy to see Brad because I didn't have the opportunity to say thank you. Like he said everything was very fast,” said Valdez.
Valdez says he has no words for "his angel" and hopes this eagle statue gift will be enough to show his gratitude to a man he considers a hero.
“It’s a nice compliment I appreciate how he feels, but it's just the right thing to do. I’m not super comfortable being called a hero, but I’m glad he's okay,” said Hauman.
A scary situation that has now brought strangers together.
“He's my angel,” said Valdez.
Valdez hopes he can soon take Brad out to dinner. Hauman plans to place the eagle statue Carlos gave him in his house.