Laura Seitz, Deseret News
MURRAY — Brandon Wright isn't a religious man. He has no strong faith in an abiding power, but he's grateful to be alive.
"I'm lucky," he said Thursday. "Whatever saved me, I'm extremely grateful."
Then again, he knows who to thank for dragging him from beneath a wrecked car after lifting the vehicle with sheer manpower. Those are his "heroes," the ones who went above and beyond Monday after Wright's motorcycle collided with a BMW.
"It's not expected to risk your life for a complete stranger," Wright, 21, said. "That's what makes them special."
Wright, a student at Utah State University, was leaving campus Monday in Logan when the accident occurred about 11:45 a.m. Police say Wright was heading east on U.S. Highway 89 and swerved to avoid being hit by another vehicle that was pulling out of the parking lot across from the university's Lund Hall.
Wright knew he was in trouble and laid his bike down in an effort to protect himself.
When the motorcycle and the BMW collided, Wright was pinned beneath the car. His bike burst into flames, catching the car on fire as well. Bystanders quickly ran to help and began lifting the car to free him and one man then pulled him to safety.
Wright doesn't know the name of the man who pulled him out from under the car, but he knows that he was wearing a green shirt.
"I would like to talk to him because he wouldn't let me close my eyes and go to sleep," he said. "I don't know if I'd have hung in there without him."
Video of the heroic actions was taken from a nearby building. That video has since been viewed by millions of people over the Internet and on national news shows.
"This definitely restores my faith in humanity and probably does for other people, too, which is probably why it's so popular," he said of the video. "They put their lives on the line for me. ... They stepped up and took a huge personal risk."
Wright himself eventually saw the video.
"I was just watching the news and saw a car on fire and recognized the car," Wright said. "I couldn't look away. I didn't want to watch it."
He said it was especially difficult to see his body splayed out on the asphalt.
"I looked dead," he said. "It's unreal to see yourself like that."
Wright said he remembers the car pulling out. He remembers swerving to avoid it and he remembers making the decision to lay the bike down. He also remembers briefly waking up underneath the car.
"It was completely surreal," he said. "I was thinking: 'How did I even fit under here?'"
Described as "the scariest thing I've ever been through in my life," Wright remembers being conscious but unable to speak or move. He thought, at best, that he was paralyzed. Instead, he survived — with various broken bones, bruises and "some pretty gnarly road rash."
Still, his doctors are optimistic about his recovery.
"It's going to be a couple of months until Brandon is back to near normal, but we expect him to get there," Intermountain Medical Center Dr. Tom White said.
The doctor, who typically works on trauma patients, said it's rare to see the accident scene the way he was able to because of the "very poignant" video. White noted that things may have turned out very differently if not for the people Wright regards as heroes.
"I think if he'd stayed there any significant length of time longer, his injuries would have been more severe, perhaps even lethal," the doctor said.
- Seeing is believing: Doctor, family say...
- Deputy's suicide prompted Tooele school...
- Utah judge could be first to rule on state...
- Families face uncertainty, unite in prayer as...
- Cottonwood Heights mayor, residents unhappy...
- Roof, tower for Provo City Center Temple add...
- Utah too dependent on federal dollars, state...
- Gov. Gary Herbert unveils $13.3 billion budget
- Should parents pay extra for... 46
- Seeing is believing: Doctor, family say... 27
- Utah A.G. John Swallow: 'No way to... 25
- Candidates seeking to replace Swallow... 19
- 'Little Bulldog' will take a break; the... 18
- Utah judge could be first to rule on... 16
- In our opinion: Pioneer Park progress... 15
- About Utah: His business is fun, games... 15