Teen Thanks Medics After Severe Car Crash


UPDATED: Sunday February 17, 2013 9:18 AM

October 9, 2012 was a day Zach Hanf will never forget.

It was the day he almost died in a very severe car crash along a stretch of state Route 13.

His foot was severed.

Medics and an air flight crew rushed to the scene, knowing it was bad.

"As much trauma as Zach had, when you look at the damage to the car, it's amazing that he even came out of it alive.  We were amazed.  He's very blessed," flight nurse Lisa Stevens said.

For these nurses, paramedics and firefighters, it was even more special, because most of the time they never get to see what happens to their patients.

Many people doubted Zach would ever walk, or even stand again.

But four months after his accident, the aspiring cross-country runner is doing that and a lot more with his new artificial leg.

Kyle Weekly of the Liberty Township Fire Company said, "It's a good feeling seeing him."

"Just to be able to see him and to know that he's alive today - he's walking, he's talking, he's with his family and he's in good spirits, and to know I had a little part to do with that makes it all worthwhile," Stevens said.

The rescuers said they are not heroes, but ordinary people doing what they're trained to do, what they love to do.

Zach shared his gratitude with those who came to his rescue when he needed them the most.

"He said, 'thank you', and uh, he's welcome.  It brings a lot of joy and happiness to the crew," said flight paramedic Patrick Connor.

Zach's mom, Jennifer Soto, hugged each one who helped save her son's life, something she will never forget.

"It's beautiful, it's a wonderful thing...we fell very blessed and very lucky that everybody was here and did their job well," Soto said.  "I just feel overwhelmed with emotion and thankfulness- and very, very grateful."

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