Former Cardinals player helps rescue people trapped in van

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- A former Arizona Cardinals tight end is being called a hero after he helped rescue a group of people when their van crashed on Saturday.

Ben Patrick was driving on Interstate 17 near Black Canyon when he spotted the van lying on it side with people trapped inside.

He said he could smell gas leaking from the van and knew he had to act fast.

"My first thought was just to help the people on the inside," he said.

Patrick ran over and started pulling people out of the vehicle.

"I ran over and I looked in the front window and everybody was laying sideways and I debated on kicking the window in, but I didn't want to get glass over everyone," he said.

Patrick and others helped  rescue the people from the van.

Patrick played for the Cardinals in 2007-2010. He is hoping to sign as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers.