Hometown Heroes honors two UPS employees

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Pioneer Valley Red Cross will honor its 2014 Hometown Heroes tomorrow morning at the MassMutual Center. Two of these heroes helped a traffic accident victim who was trapped in his burning car.

James Clark of Springfield told 22News, he owes his life for what they did for him. “I thank them lord, most on lookers are watching what’s going on, they reacted you know,” said Clark. “They just spun into action, grabbed their extinguishers, they did what they had to do. Especially being trapped in a car caught on fire. There’s no way I would have made it out of there. I probably would have burned to death.”

James Clark is so grateful to UPS freight employees Arthur Hardy and Kevin Collins for putting out the car fire while Clark was trapped in the back seat after an SUV had crossed the center line on Cottage Street hit Clark’s car head on.

Hardy told 22News, “We just wanted to make sure the fire was out because you know that’s a terrible way to go, you know a fire. Previously, before the accident a week before, I buried a best friend of mind, his son died in a similar accident.”

Like so many Hometown Heroes, neither Arthur Hardy nor his equally courageous fellow UPS employee Kevin Collins considers their response heroic.

“I hope somebody would do it for me. If I was trapped in a gas truck or in my car… it’s just the right thing. The feeling afterwards, the adrenaline was running, I didn’t consider myself a hero or even think of it,” said Collins.

It was James Clark’s sister who nominated Collins and Hardy as hometown heroes. She and her brother have nothing but the highest regard for what these heroes did.

“I think they’re some awesome guys. Like I said, I’m definitely grateful. The most high you know, he sent them there for a reason,” said Clark.

If you cannot attend the event in person tomorrow but would like to watch, 22News will be streaming it live on wwlp.com starting at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

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