TSA officer a Tampa hero - WFLA News Channel 8

TSA officer rescued woman from car on fire in Tampa

Posted: Updated:
James "Jim" Flaherty James "Jim" Flaherty
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Local Transportation Security Administration officer who works at Tampa International Airport helped save a life on his way to work at early hours Wednesday, when he pulled a woman out of a burning car, TSA representatives told us.

Deputy Assistant Federal Security Director for Screening Jim Flaherty came to office with mud and blood on his clothes. He told his coworkers that he saw a car speeding by him and hitting a tree on the west shoulder of Gunn Highway on his drive to the airport.

"I stopped my car, got out and I could hear this woman screaming from her car: help me, help me," Flaherty said.

Another motorist pulled over and they rushed to the damaged vehicle. The driver's door was jammed against the tree, the woman behind the wheel was stuck. She said she had broken her leg.

"You knew that she had been hurt in that car," Flaherty said. "So I just decided to see if I could help her out.

The men pulled her out of the car through the passenger door and carried her to safety, TSA representatives said. About four minutes later the car caught on fire.

"I'm thinking from the time we approached the car to the time we got her out ... that thing was cooking," Flaherty said about the car.

When the rescue teams arrived, the woman was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital. Falherty told us, her name was Meagan. She is 24 years old, she lives in New Port Richey. She works at a fast food chain restaurant and was on her way to work.

"She's a lucky little girl and I was lucky to be there to help her out," Jim Flaherty, who has three daughters, said about the woman.

Jim Flaherty is a retired New York Police Department detectives. He has worked at TSA since 2002. "Sometimes our  mission to protect the public extends into our off hours," said TSA's Federal Security Director for Tampa Gary Milano. "He's a hero for saving that young woman's life."

 

 

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