Two men honored for heroism during Colonie accident in July

Two men honored for heroism during Colonie accident in July

It was a moment of horror that turned into heroism. Those two heroes were honored on Thursday evening.

COLONIE – The wreckage on Route 9 in Colonie on the morning of last July 9 was horrific. After a head-on collision caused when another car traveling 90 miles per hour crossed the double yellow line, Missy Halse’s Jeep wound up on its roof. When the ruptured gas line caught fire, Halse was still strapped into her seatbelt, trapped inside the car as the fire gained in size and intensity.

“When I saw the car upside down, on fire, I had to go over there,” said Vance Jones, who was driving to work when he stumbled upon the accident scene. “I jumped the curb with my truck and proceeded to help out.”

Jones became hero number one.

Brian Bolton, who was woken up by the sound of the crash, sprung into action, becoming hero number two.

“I hauled back to the house,” Bolton said. “I got a little old kitchen fire extinguisher. Thank goodness we had it, and started knocking the fire down.”

During those hectic moments, Halse was badly injured but remained conscious the entire time.

“I remember them dragging me out not only once but twice,” she said. “The fire got so hot so they had to keep moving me away from it, and I’m sure they didn’t want to move me because I was kind of broken, and I’m sure I was screaming in pain.”

The men who ran selflessly into danger to save Halse’s life were cited for bravery by the Town of Colonie.

“I’ve been wanting to hug them for a long time,” she said. “I thought about them the whole time I was in the hospital. Who is that brave to run into a car that’s on fire and save me?”

Both men humbly refuse to think of themselves as heroes, despite what Halse thinks about them.

“They are my heroes,” she proclaimed.

During her convalescence, Halse and her fiancée had to miss their wedding and honeymoon. Those are the things that now she is most looking forward to.

Halse also credits a whole lot of love and support from family and friends for enabling her to recover as quickly as she did.