PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- It was a daring rescue by a good Samaritan, as he saved the life of a pilot who crashed his small plane in north Phoenix.

The single-engine plane burst into flames off Deer Valley Road and 31st Avenue back on June 11.

[WATCH: "We owe him Mark's life for the time we had."]

But the pilot onboard, Mark Brandenmuel, survived, thanks to Thomas Hunnicutt, who saw the crash from his vehicle and jumped out to help.

"I knew I had to go in at that moment and just extract him," said Hunnicutt. " Once I did that, the plane exploded, and it was pretty fortunate we were there. I didn't think anybody would have done anything if we weren't there."

[THAT STORY: Phoenix man remembers saving pilot's life in Deer Valley plane crash]

The pilot suffered second- and third-degree burns across his body and lived 5 months. He died a couple of weeks ago.

On Thursday, the good Samaritan and the pilot's wife were reunited during a news conference outside the Arizona Burn Center Valleywise Health campus.

"The entire plane was on fire except for the tail," said Jenny Brandenmuehl. "He reached in and grabbed Mark out a window. Mark was in a fetal position and he pulled him out. We owe him Mark's life for the time we had."

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

"At the end of the day, it was a life," Hunnicutt said. "I just wanted to show some sympathy and help somebody out when they needed to be helped; that's it."

Doctors presented Hunnicutt with a special clock to symbolize the 5 extra months the pilot was able to spend with his family.

"I had the gift of having no words unsaid," said Brandenmuehl. "Mark and I, we got to say we love each other, got to kiss each other, and I got to hug him in his hospital bed."

Hunnicutt is hoping his actions will serve as an inspiration to always help others.

"Put the phone down and help, that's all I can say," said Hunnicutt. "Put your phone down and help."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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