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Darius Fleming: Patriots linebacker rescues woman from burning car
- Updated: January 21, 2016
Darius Fleming reportedly played with 22 stitches in his right leg during the team’s game on Saturday against the Chiefs. Fleming said he sustained the injury to his leg while kicking out the window of a smoking car in order to save a woman following a crash.
On his way back from practice at approximately 4:30 p.m., Darius Fleming witnessed a truck make a sudden stop while making a right turn that, in his words, “jammed up” the cars behind it. One of the vehicles had it worse than the others, as smoke began to billow inside the car.
That’s when Fleming leapt into action, as he kicked through the passenger side window and pulled out the female driver.
“The doors wouldn’t open and I was just, like, ‘Got to get out of here some way,'” Fleming said. “She was kicking the window and it wasn’t doing much damage, so (I kicked it through) and I pulled her out. She was jumping out before the window even broke, honestly.”
The act of heroism did not come without consequences, though, as Fleming bled badly and needed 22 stitches. Fleming said the wound did not affect his play against the Chiefs on Saturday and he’s fine going forward.
“Obviously, I’ve thought about it a little bit,” he said, “but I’ve played with worse injuries than some stitches, so I really didn’t think that much of it.”
Fleming’s injuries caused him to leave the scene before the police arrived, and he returned to Gillette to alert the team of what happened before going to the hospital.
“(All of the other Patriots) knew because when I came in here it looked like my leg had got bitten by a shark or something,” he said. “I was bleeding pretty bad. Guys were like, ‘What happened?’ I was just like, ‘Don’t ask.’ So I just explained what happened and they were excited I could help her. Any of us would have done the same thing.”
Darius Fleming kept it as quiet as he could, but knew it would eventually get out to the public.
“I’m not looking for anything from it,” he said. “I was just trying to be a person that anybody that would be behind this lady. I told my agent and he kind of was excited about it and he tweeted it and I noticed it on Twitter and I was like, ‘Ah, this is going to get out there a little bit.'”
The humble Fleming even downplayed how he was able to kick through the window.
“I’m going to tell you this: the window didn’t break on the first kick, so I’m not that strong,” he said. “But it broke and I was able to get her out, so that was that. … I was going at it pretty hard, but it wasn’t breaking at first. Then I was like, ‘I’ve got to kick it a little harder.'”
The nature of the incident caused his memory to be a little hazy of certain details.
“I figured she was in her 20s somewhere,” Fleming said of the woman he saved. “I couldn’t even tell you how she looked, honestly. My mind was racing, hers was. She probably couldn’t tell you how I looked, either. It was kind of just a spur of the moment thing and that was that.”
It’s not something most people are prepared for, but Fleming handled it about as well as anyone. It harkens back to last year, when then-Pats defensive tackle Vince Wilfork pulled a woman from her overturned car, also on Route 1, coincidentally.
“It was a freaky situation,” Fleming said. “I wasn’t expecting to be in that situation at all, but I’m glad I was. I’m glad I was able to help her and that was that.”
Sportact Editors and Wire Services