Amarillo man's brave actions earn him civilian hero award

Firemen, police officers and service men and women -- all heroes. But now, one Amarillo civilian can be added to that list.

While driving home from Oklahoma City in the summer of 2010, Shane Ward and his family witnessed a severe highway accident that resulted in one pickup truck rolling over and bursting into flames.

"It was on fire, they were upside down," said Shane. The cab was smashed down, the only way they could get out was out of the drivers side window, of course, the glass was busted out."

Shane never even blinked.

"Her arm was hanging out and I could see that I could hear her as I got closer," he said. "I don't remember exactly how I got her out of there."

Shane pulled all three women from inside the burning pickup to safety, helping save their lives. It was those heroic actions that got Shane chosen from just a handful across North America to be honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

"Last week they notified me by mail and by email that I was one of the recipients of that award. I'm flattered of course," Shane said. "I think I probably did what anybody else would have done."

As part of the award, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission will send Shane a medal and a $5,000 reward. But Shane says, just knowing he helped someone by doing the right thing is reward enough for him.

"There's no way you can just stand there and watch. I think anybody in their right mind would have tried to help," he said.

Now, in addition to husband, working man and dad, the word "hero" can also be added to Shane's list of titles, even if he is too humble to call himself one.

"Call it whatever," Shane said. "I just thank God I don't have to look back and say well, I didn't do anything. I wouldn't want to live like that."

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