PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - First responders credit a good Samaritan for saving an injured pilot's life.

Phoenix's 34-year-old Thomas Hunnicutt and his wife were at a stoplight when he saw the small single-engine plane fall from the sky and hit the ground.

[WATCH: 'He was upside down' Man explains how he pulled the pilot out of a fiery plane crash in Phoenix]

"He clipped a light pole. It spun him right into the barrier," said Hunnicutt. "It sounded like a bomb going off. It hit, flew up, twisted on its top, and spun a couple times and then landed."

Then instincts kicked in.

"At that moment, my wife called 911, and I jumped out of the car," said Hunnicutt. "I saw everyone just videotaping, and if everyone would've kept videotaping, that man would've burnt up in that plane and died right there."

The heat from the burning plane was intense, but he went for it and risked his own life for a stranger.

[RELATED: Small plane crashes in north Phoenix neighborhood, pilot injured]

"I noticed that he was upside down, all of his clothes were burnt off his body and the seatbelt had been burnt off of him too," Hunnicutt said. "I think he was really discombobulated and dazed. So, it was just gurgles, and moaning and his clothes were on fire. Everything was on fire. I don't think he even knew what was going on."

Hunnicutt said he can't take all the credit for saving the pilot's life.

Hunnicutt said other bystanders helped get the pilot across the street after he got him out of one of the broken windows of the airplane.

"As soon as we got him out of that plane and into safety, that's when the plane blew up. Like, exploded like it was a movie," he explained. "He was badly injured. Badly injured. I was surprised he was even talking."

"He was kinda talking at that point. He's like 'ugh, I think I'm a little banged up,' is what he said to me."

Today, Hunnicutt is still shaken up and worried about how the pilot is doing.

"Very humbling too to see someone like that. It was hard," he said.

He doesn't consider himself a hero.

"Everybody keeps saying that to me. I just, I don't think I look at it in that light. I just know that somebody needed help," he said.

A spokesperson for the Maricopa Medical Center said the pilot is in critical condition.

He hopes the man's family knows he's thinking of them and hopes he'll be okay.

"He needed a chance, and hopefully I gave him that," he said.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(6) comments

K mama

You are a hero son..he helped you to bring that pilot to are both heros. .there are not enough of you both in this world..God wanted that mans life spared and sent his angles to save him...always know you are an amazing angel...


What about the blonde lady that went and talked to him before his seat belt melted he told her I can't get my seat belt she was the first on site


Mr. Hunnicutt, thank you for stepping up and saving that man's life. You can say you had help, but you clearly were the inspiration for the others. You are a hero.


Thomas, you were there for a reason! aren't you glad to have been able to save him!!! What a privilege... Well done. There are no accidents in God's currency :)


Way to go Thomas! I can’t believe you jumped in that plane. There’s nothing left of it! Praying for the pilot and his family. It’s amazing that he was conscience and alert.


Wayto go! Kind people are still outthere!

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