Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker Jonathan “Tig” Willard saved a mother, her three young children and a dog from a burning car on Tuesday afternoon.
The former Clemson standout and undrafted free agent was driving on Interstate 40 from South Carolina to training camp in Tennessee when he saw black smoke coming from an SUV in front of him. He honked on his horn and tried to warn the driver that her car was on fire.
Willard, 23, got the woman to pull over. He said she appeared to be “in a kind of daze or something” and had thought that the smoke was coming from a truck up ahead. He and another bystander pulled the family and their pet to safety and were able to retrieve the woman’s purse and a couple of bags from the SUV before it exploded.
Willard, who stayed with the family until rescue workers arrived, said the woman was thankful he was able to warn her in time. “She just kept thanking me,” he said. “That car was just gone. It went up quick.”