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Whidbey Naval Air Station Sailor pulls man from burning car

Whidbey NAS Sailor Nickolas Kingston
Contributed photo

"I hadn’t really thought about anything other than getting him out. If we didn’t get him out, he was going to die," said Nickolas Kingston, a former Oregon volunteer fireman and now a Sailor at Whidbey Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, Wash.

Kingston was in Oregon visiting family today when he saw a Jeep on fire and pulled over to see if he could help.

Off-duty Washington County Deputy Cpl. Cheryl Crecelius was already on scene and had pulled one unconscious man from the burning vehicle. Another man had already walked to safety when Kingston heard the officer's call for help.

When he approached the smashed Jeep, Kingston could see the driver pinned beneath the steering wheel.

Neither of the front doors would open so Kingston got into the backseat and gave driver, Mark Vanvleck a “big tug", freeing him from the wreckage and then helping him to the safety of a nearby driveway.

According to Whidbey News Times the three men rescued from the burning Jeep, Mark Vanvleck, Jason Eaton, and Christian Bandmann, are all expected to recover.

Mark Vanvleck, however, was cited on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and assault. There was no additional information regarding the assault charge.

There was no age or rank listed for Kingston.

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