Editor’s note: This story originally was published Aug. 26, 2010. The Sun News is publishing the article again after the Horry County Coroner confirmed Aug. 21, 2018, Blye is a homicide victim.
Terry Blye is lucky to have been alive to celebrate his 50th birthday Saturday night.
People are calling him a hero for risking his life to help three teenagers who wrecked near his home on Adrian Road July 20, 2010. “A hero is just a sandwich, but if they want to call me that, I’ll take it,” he said.
Blye and some friends were in his yard that night when they heard a noise that “sounded like a freight train coming off the tracks.”
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From the evidence it left behind, the car apparently missed making a sharp curve, spun and flipped for about 120 yards. “At first, we ran the other way because it sounded like it was coming into my yard,” he said. “When it stopped, it was upside down, tires spinning.”
Blye called 911, and he and his friends ran to the car. One boy was about 35 feet away. Another boy was in the back seat, trying to get his seat belt off, and the car was on fire in the dash area. Blye ran for his fire extinguisher. “I took a chance. I just had to get that dude out of that burning car. I calmed it down enough for my friend to pull him out the back window. I think he was the only one that had his seat belt on because he was the only one that didn’t get ejected.”
With a small flashlight, Blye ran through bushes and small trees where he knew there may be poisonous snakes, looking for the girl. All of his dogs were barking, but one was looking toward the woods closer to his house, and that is where he found her. “It took me 20 or 30 minutes to find her. There she was laying out in the woods — a sight to see.”
Soon, an ambulance, fire trucks and a South Carolina trooper arrived. By then, the entire car was on fire, and it took a long time for them to extinguish it, Blye said.
When it was over, Blye said the trooper called him aside and said, “Forget this badge. I want to know, do you have your soul right with God?” He explained to Blye that if that fire had been from a gas leak, he likely would have been killed.
Blye recited Psalms 3, a long chapter from the Bible that an old man once taught him when he was younger and headed the wrong way in life.
Blye said he was hurting inside and crying for a few days after witnessing what he did. Some of the teenagers’ family members have been by to look for their things, scattered across a field with pieces of the car. None of them have really talked with him about what happened.
Blye had been home about 25 minutes when it happened. He wonders how those kids are doing, but he has little doubt about where they would be today if he had been a little later getting home.