Since Saturday, Barbara Inglett has wanted to find and thank the man she says saved her life after her SUV was broadsided in a crash that morning.
Her rescuer, whom she called an "angel," turned out to be a man named John Demons.
"This is so ironic," Mrs. Inglett said with a laugh after she was told his name. "That is hilarious."
Or, as his mother, Freda Demons (pronounced Dim-ons), would later note: "God definitely has a sense of humor."
Mrs. Inglett gave her hero a big hug when she met him at his workplace Wednesday. Mr. Demons, who crawled in the upside down Chevrolet Blazer to free Mrs. Inglett from a seat belt she said was cutting off her air, left the scene before she got his name.
A co-worker of Mr. Demons at Triad Specialties told on him after reading about Mrs. Inglett in an Augusta Chronicle story Wednesday. Mr. Demons told a few co-workers what had happened, in what they said was his typical casual manner.
"One of them asked me how my weekend went," Mr. Demons said. "I told them it was interesting."
Mrs. Inglett, who suffered cuts and bruises when her car was hit by a pickup at Lewiston Road and Interstate 20, said she wanted to make sure Mr. Demons fully understood what he did.
"I hope you get it, John," she told him. "I would not be here without you. The way you said you were going to get me out, I knew you were not going to leave me."
Mr. Demons, 28, said he didn't see the accident, only the aftermath. He was heading into a nearby convenience store when he heard tires screeching and a loud crash. He said he ran into the store, told the cashier to call 911 and then hurried to Mrs. Inglett's vehicle, where she was pleading for someone to free her.
"That's when I crawled in and unfastened her seat belt to take some of the pressure off her diaphragm, her abdomen area so she could get comfortable and breathe," Mr. Demons said, adding that he left after police learned he hadn't witnessed the accident and told him he could go.
Mr. Demons said some co-workers started calling him the Incredible Hulk, jokingly exaggerating his heroics by saying he ripped the door off the vehicle. He didn't, but stretching the truth a bit doesn't make much difference to Mrs. Inglett.
"You know what, you raised a hero," she told Mrs. Demons. "You raised a wonderful son."
Reach Mike Wynn at (706) 823-3218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.