(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- The quick thinking of a husband and wife duo and a crane operator who happened to be in the vicinity, helped save the life of Shon Lee Barthell on May 2, 2012. For their heroism, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan honored them recently with a commendation during the Commission meeting on July 19. Maria Tang, Manuel Tang and Charlie Byrdo sprang into action when Barthell swerved to avoid a black Mercedes Benz that ran a traffic light. Barthell’s truck overturned, hit a tree and burst into flames.
Unselfishly, the Tangs and Byrdo broke the glass of the truck and pulled Barthell to safety while he was unconscious. Other passersby opted not to get involved fearing the truck was going to explode.
“For anyone questioning whether there are good people left on this earth, this story confirms that there are,” said Commissioner Jordan. “They put themselves in harm’s way, but still persevered to save a life. That is what I call heroism!”
Barthell, who is a truck driver for Miami-Dade County’s Public Works and Waste Management Department, was transporting waste to the landfill on NW 200 Street and 47 Avenue when the accident occurred. Still recovering from the near-fatal incident, Barthell and his family thanked his rescuers for saving his life. Barthell also thanked Commissioner Jordan for honoring the people who so valiantly protected him.
“The Commission Chamber was filled with emotion,” said Commissioner Jordan. “It is not often that we find people willing to put it all on the line for others. However, today we have found three people who did just that.”
Left: Barthell thanks Maria Tang for her heroism. Right: Barthell and his family stand alongside the Tangs, Byrdo, Commissioner Jordan, and Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the presentation.