MASON CITY, Iowa - Before Noon on April 5, Donna Rench was on her way to work at Hy-Vee West, traveling down County Road B20 in her silver 2005 Ford F-150.
"I looked at my clock, and I thought, 'I had 15 minutes.' I was almost to Eisenhower Avenue, the turn I take to get to Hy-Vee. I thought, 'I'm good, I got this.'"
That was the last thing she remembered, as the truck crossed the centerline, ended up in an embankment and flipped over, catching fire as well.
"I wake up and I'm like, 'oh my God, I wrecked my truck.' I'm bleeding, I'm stuck and I thought, 'what am I going to do?'"
The truck landed on the passenger side, and Rench was trapped. She was looking for her cell phone, but was slightly out of reach, forcing her to stretch to get it. She dialed 911 and told dispatch her approximate location. Next, she called her husband Jeff and her friend Edward, trying to get any sort of help. She was trying to unbuckle her seatbelt, but found it difficult.
"I'm screaming and yelling, 'Help me, help me!'"
Then, Jason Hahn, who happened to be driving by the scene of the accident, immediately got out and rushed to her aid, trying to break the windshield to free her.
"The next thing I knew, Steve [Fettkether] was there. He knows Jason and recognized his truck and saw there's a wreck. Jason said my wheels were still spinning when he saw me."
Hahn repeatedly kicked and tried to pry open the windshield to get access, using a shovel to bust it open. Once it was broken, however, the increase in oxygen fanned the flames and smoke, and all of them knew that time was running out.
"Jason couldn't get me unloose either. He had to run to his truck again, and I'm like, 'I'm going to die.' He says, 'no, you're not, I'll be right back.'"
Retrieving a knife, he was able to cut Donna's seatbelt, though she fell back further into the truck. Despite the thick smoke, Jason crawled through the truck to grab ahold of Donna, though it was a difficult process.
"I was like, 'I can't breathe, get me out of here!' He's all, 'I'm not leaving you. I'm going with you or we're getting out of here together.'"
With Hahn pulling on Rench's hair, and Fettkether grabbing on to Hahn's belt, they were able to free Rench from the truck and get her to safety just mere seconds before the truck exploded. Rench ended up with a fractured left knee and chest, as well as multiple bruises and contusions, while Hahn ended up with burns on his hands and received stitches.
Since that day, all three have stayed in regular communication, becoming friends.
"We're buds, he's stuck with me!"
Rench thanks Hahn and Fetthkether for their quick thinking and heroic actions.
"Both of them...they didn't know me from anybody. Now, it's like I can't imagine them not being in my life...they risked their lives, they could've died that day along with me. It's very, very touching, and I'm never going to forget them and what they did."