A man bended a car door with his bare hands Sunday evening in Woodbury, Minnesota to save the life of a stranger trapped in his burning SUV, according to reports. Robert Renning, a 52-year-old first sergeant in the Minnesota Air National Guard, managed to pry the door open and save Michael Johannes' life.
Renning had been driving on the interstate when he spotted Johannes' jeep with flames underneath it— Johannes had lost control of the brakes and didn't realize. Fortunately, both men were able to pull over, but then the electronic locks on the Chevy Trailblazer wouldn't disengage.
The car was "filled with smoke" by the time Renning got to it, he told WCCO news. While Johannes attempted to kick through the window, Renning "grabbed the top of the door frame and pulled until the glass shattered." From there he dragged Johannes through, and after the whole ordeal the man had only suffered small cuts and some minor smoke inhalation.
"I don't think I did anything different than anyone else would have done had they gotten into the car ahead of me. That's just my take," Renning later told KARE. "I helped him out of the car. That's good enough."
For his heroism, Renning was nominated by the state police for the Good Samaritan award.
"He did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person," Trooper Zachary Hill, who showed up to the burning wreckage, said. "I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive."
Johannes said that he is grateful for Renning's quick thinking and willingness to help a stranger in need.
"Someone risked their own life to save mine, that's all I can really say, that is the emotional part," he said.