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Meeting a Young Hero

Meeting a Young Hero
From the PorchBy Amber Nagle
Meeting a Young Hero
From the PorchBy Amber Nagle

Cayman Reynolds can’t explain exactly why he did what he did one morning last January, but as a result of the young man paying attention to his intuition, two men are alive and well today.

I interviewed Reynolds last week, meeting him at a local high school where he’s a student — a Junior — and a first-team tight end for the football team. I asked him to tell me the story from the beginning.

“It was pouring down rain that morning,” a very humble Reynolds said softly. “I was already running a few minutes late for school, and the roads were really wet, and I was being careful. Then something told me to turn and go a different way that morning — a way that I never took that would make me even later for school. I don’t know why, but I listened and went that other way.”

As Reynolds came over a hill, he found himself at the scene of a horrible accident. A truck had hydroplaned and crashed into another truck leaving it a mangled heap of metal in the middle of the road. Both vehicles were on fire, and one truck had flipped over onto its side.

Reynolds slowed his car, took his phone out, and began recording.

“I wanted to show it to my teacher and say, ‘This is why I’m late.’” Then he noticed someone standing in the road.

“That’s when I realized that the person was trying to get the drivers out of the burning vehicles,” he said. “I knew I had to help.

Without thinking, Reynolds charged to the nearest truck and yanked open the driver’s side door.

“The man was moaning in pain,” he said. “I looked down and saw that his legs were jammed under the steering wheel and his quad was torn in half — blood everywhere. And I just reached in and pulled him out of the truck.”

Then the 18-year-old superhero moved to the second truck.

“It was on its side, and the driver was trapped in his seatbelt,” he remembered.

Smoke billowed from the truck’s hood and flames inched closer to the man’s body.

“I wasn’t really scared,” Reynolds said. “I just knew I had to get the man out of the truck or he was going to die in there. I realized that I wasn’t strong enough to flip that big truck back over, so I had to find another way to get the man out of the truck.”

He noticed that tools from the man’s toolbox were scattered all over the pavement, and his eyes focused on a wrench.

“I grabbed a big wrench and used it to break out the back window glass,” he recalled. “I was too big to climb in, but there was a smaller lady there. She wasn’t even 5-feet tall, and I helped her crawl into the window of [the cab]. She got him loose [from the seat belt], and then I reached in and pulled him out through the back window.”

“I carried the man about 20 yards from the truck and laid him down,” he told me. “He was bleeding and scared, and so I held his head in my hands and talked to him. I knew the ambulance was on the way, and I told him he was going to be okay. Help was coming.”

A few minutes later, first responders got there and took over. That’s when Reynolds realized he was soaking wet and covered in blood. He decided to go home to shower and change clothes, so he called his father to let him know he was returning home for a few minutes.

“When he called that morning, I looked at the time and was immediately irritated with him,” remembered his father, Greg Reynolds. “I continued from page

asked him why he wasn’t at school yet, and he just said in a real calm voice, ‘Dad, I had to stop and help some people.’ Minutes later when he pulled up and I saw the blood all over him, I said, ‘Son, what did you do?’ And he told me the story, as if it was nothing.”

Reynolds showered and changed before rushing out the door once again with a biscuit in his hand, saying to his dad, “I have to get to school. I’m late for physics class.”

At school, he didn’t even mention the crash to the office staff when he signed in. No one had any idea that he had rescued two people that morning on his way to school — until people started asking questions, eventually revealing Reynolds’ secret.

Today, he downplays his actions, insisting that he wasn’t seeking glory, recognition or awards that day.

“That’s not why I did it,” he said. “They needed help, and I just felt that I had to help them.”

And you can tell that the impressive young man — who told me that he hopes to play football for Georgia Tech one day — means what he says. He’s just a humble soul — grounded, clear headed and determined to do good in this world. He’s convinced that he was led to the scene to be of service that morning — that there is a spiritual component to the events of that day. Why else would he change his course, his routine, especially on such a dark and dreary day?

“What do you think people can learn from what you did that morning?” I asked, as we were finishing up.

Reynold thought for a moment, lifted his head, and said, “Always — always — listen to the voice in the back of your head. Something told me to go a different way that morning, and I’m glad I did.”

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