18-year-old risks own life to save mother, three children from burning car

An 18-year-old from Connecticut risked his life to save a mother and her three children from a burning car.

Now Justin Gavin is being hailed a hero.

Gavin said he was walking down a road in Waterbury, Connecticut, when a small SUV drove past him. It was engulfed in flames and a little girl was hanging out the window, CNN reported.

He and other drivers were trying to get the mother to pull over, telling her that her vehicle was on fire, but she couldn’t stop.

Gavin chased down the vehicle and eventually the woman was able to get it stopped.

First Gavin helped the woman out of the driver’s seat, then he pulled each of the kids out of the back. The children were 9, 4 and 1-year-old. The baby was in a car seat, WFSB reported.

The SUV was fully engulfed by flames moments later.

Police said Gavin saved the family’s lives, WFSB reported.

September 9th 2020 - Chief Fernando Spagnolo thanks Justin Gavin (age 18) for helping to save a mother and her three children from a burning car. Great job Justin!

Posted by Waterbury Police Department on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Waterbury Police Department awarded Gavin a “challenge coin," with Chief of Police Fernando Spagnolo telling the teen, “I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family you saved,” CNN reported.

“Life is too short, so I just thought if that was me in that situation, I would want someone to help me,” Gavin told WFSB.