Chris Porter saved by stop, drop, and roll after gas pump explodes

8:27 PM, Jul 8, 2013   |    comments
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By Forest Sanders

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV/CNN) - A Tennessee man is in the hospital recovering from severe burns to his body after a fiery accident.

Authorities say the simple thing he did after the impact likely saved his life.

Assistant Fire Marshal Maggie Lawrence at the Metro Fire Department has seen this shocking surveillance video taken from a Riverside Drive Exxon station in Clarksville. She says the quick action taken by Chris Porter is an important lesson that can save lives.

"He did everything properly. I was very pleased to see he did not panic and run, because if he had panicked and ran it would've fed the fire. He would've been burned; I'm sure, a whole lot worse than what he was," said Lawrence.

Surveillance video from Sunday morning shows a car suddenly go flying into oncoming traffic and smash into a pump.

Porter survived, rolling on the ground trying to put out the flames on his legs.

"And you can see him rolling back and forth, which is not only what we teach children to do, but adults to do as well. Not only do you stop drop and roll, but you should cover your face, and that helps to protect your face to keep your face from getting burned," said Lawrence.

According to Clarksville police, the driver, John Ward, says he blacked out behind the wheel, and was not injured in the crash.

Though a blood test is pending, a crash report says there was no evident alcohol or drugs involved in what happened.

Meanwhile, porter remains in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt. His family tells WSMV-TV he's likely to stay at the hospital for another month or two, with burns on 40 percent of his body.

According to Lawrence, the fact Porter took the steps to stop drop and roll likely saved his life.

"Stop drop and roll is a matter of life and death," she said.


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