Mercedes Boggs was on her way to work in Kentucky last month when her car hit a patch of ice, flipped on its side and slid down an embankment, coming to rest in a frigid creek. After regaining consciousness, with cold water rushing in through the smashed windshield, she realized she was trapped. She later wrote on her Facebook page, "Today I saw my life flash before my eyes. I didn't think about the championships I was part of winning, or the degrees, but about what I was leaving behind. A family that means the world to me. Friends that I've spent the last 25 years with. Life is precious and I'm so thankful my heart is still beating, and for the breath still in my lungs."
How did she survive? Kentucky coal miner John Burke was on his way home from working the night shift when he saw Boggs' car in the creek. Walking into the water, he freed her from her mangled vehicle, and just as he was helping her up the embankment, her car burst into flames. Had he not come along, she would likely have died in the inferno.
She was rushed to the hospital without even knowing the name of the person who saved her, so she went on Facebook with a plea of finding and thanking her "guardian angel." Burke saw it and messaged Boggs. He downplayed his part in her rescue, but Boggs and her family disagree. "He will forever be my hero," she said. "He was the person who saved my life."
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