Woman honored for heroically pulling man from burning car

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Saturday, December 24, 2016
Local woman honored for saving man's life
A local woman is receiving a prestigious Carnegie Medal for saving a man's life after a car fire.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- We've seen a lot of stories about complete strangers risking their lives to save someone, but Shei'londa Brooks stands alone, as she didn't stop pulling a man out of a burning car, even as her clothes started to melt into her skin.

Brooks is petite yet powerful, a defensive cornerback for the Houston Energy women's football team a few years ago. She had just left her first practice, and as she exited Beltway 8 near Fuqua, a car lost control and flipped over, right in front of her.

"As soon as it started flipping, I got out of my car and just ran toward him," she recalled.

"I started to pull, maybe on the second or third pull, he's hanging out of the car, and the car just exploded."

Brooks said she felt like she was on fire, but she didn't let go.

Bystanders followed her lead, and the driver survived.

Brooks was burned, her clothes melted onto parts of her body. She was only in the hospital for a day, thankful to have saved the life of a husband and father of three.

Scars remain from the encounter, but Brooks says she treasures them.

"I call my scars spiritual battle wounds," she said.

Brooks will join a select group of courageous people to receive a Carnegie Medal for her heroic actions.