Family says Jim Colbert saved a life

6:38 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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  • Jim Colbert is credited with saving Don Smith from a fire
  • A plaque made by Don Smith's family to thank Jim Colbert for his bravery.

By Grant Bissell

Hawk Point, MO (KSDK) - A family scarred by murder narrowly missed a second tragedy. Just two years ago, Jeff Smith of Hawk Point, Missouri was shot and killed. And just last month his father, Don, was involved in a terrible accident.

But instead of grieving, the Smith family is counting their blessings and thanking a man now known as the Hawk Point Hero.

Don Smith is a retired mechanic. In August he was seriously burned in his garage.

"There was a truck that wouldn't start and I got under the hood to get it to start and when it backfired it caught on fire and I couldn't get out," said Smith.

A carburetor exploded giving don third degree burns on nearly half his body.

"I couldn't breathe because of the fire and I was just about to pass out."

Right now room 123 is Smith's home away from home. He spends his days in physical therapy at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital in Chesterfield.

But Smith's family says he would have died if it wasn't for Jim Colbert. Jim saw the flames and rushed in to drag Smith to safety.

"I think God put him out there at just that moment because, you know, a second earlier he wasn't out there," said Smith's daughter, Janine Smith-Ray.

"He's a good guy... very brave," added Smith.

The Smiths say they're forever in debt to Colbert for saving their loved one's life. And Smith's daughter made a plaque to pay tribute to Colbert's bravery.

"You know, not too many people would put their life on the line to help somebody like that," said Smith-Ray. "Jimmy would and he did."

For now Smith will stay in room 123 until he can go home to Hawk Point and thank Jim Colbert in person.

"Friends and neighbors are the best thing around."

Jim Colbert was very modest about the whole experience. He said he doesn't consider himself a hero. Colbert also said another man, Keith Witt, deserves equal credit for saving Don Smith.

Colbert is holding a fundraiser to help with Smith's medical bills on Saturday, September 22 at Cliff and Ella's on Main Street in Hawk Point.



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