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SHELBY, N.C. — Talk about the right person being at the right place at the right time.

A man with 15 years in the military, and who works for the National Guard in Charlotte, happened to be traveling home when he saw a head-on collision. Staff Sgt. Cory Hinkle pulled over to help. He found a woman, later identified as Brandy Guin, not able to get out of her vehicle as the gas spilled over the road. Hinkle and another man, Brandon Foster, were able to get the woman out of the van moments before it burst into flames, The Shelby Star reported.

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Hinkle, worried that the fire would hurt the injured woman, used his body to shield her from the fire.

Guin was on her way to pick up her children and was alone in the van during the crash and suffered a broken ankle and a facial fracture.

The two have since reunited in Guin’s hospital room, with Hinkle surprising the woman he saved with a teddy bear, dressed in his military uniform.

“It takes a lot for a person to lay down their body and protect someone they’ve never met. There’s not a lot of people out there like him,” Guin told The Shelby Star. “Those soldiers know how to step up.”

Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk |