Former NFL player rescues trucker from fiery wreck

May 18, 2021

SJ Munoz

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It wasn’t any amount of training that led former NFL defensive lineman Brandon Bair to risk his life to save another on May 6 in St. Anthony, Idaho.

“I can credit a whole bunch of different things,” Bair said. “Sure, previous experience played a part, but to be honest anyone in their right state of mind in that moment would have made the same choice. I feel like who you choose to be in life will help you later on. I had a prompting, some people call it a gut feeling, but whatever it was, I felt so strongly the Lord was telling me this guy needs to be alive and there’s a purpose behind it. I told myself my family will be OK without me.”

As Bair, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles, was driving toward Henry’s Fork Homes, where he is general manager, when he witnessed a train colliding with a semitruck off U.S. Highway 20 in St. Anthony.

He immediately knew what he had to do.

Bair ran toward the crash, first checking with the train conductors before racing to the semitruck and its driver, which was starting to burn by this point. Bair was told by the conductors not to go near the front of the truck, but again he felt too strongly to not do everything he could to help.

“The moment I got on the tracks I could hear someone,” Bair said. “I could see the driver (Steven Jenson) was pinned with the steering wheel to his face. I was able to reach down and unbuckle his seatbelt. There was no way he was getting out without help due to his injuries. He was actually more concerned with what happened and how he could have avoided it. I had to kind of yell at him to get his attention.”

Just a few seconds before the cab of the truck was engulfed in flames, Bair pulled Jenson from the truck and away from any immediate danger.

“You had to act, there wasn’t time to think,” Bair said. “I have a whole new level of respect for first responders and what they deal with every day. We were working within a matter of seconds. Looking at that truck, there’s no way he (Jenson) should be alive, but I believe there’s a purpose for his life, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”

 

Former NFL player rescues trucker from fiery wreck
Former NFL player Brandon Bair rescued truck driver Steven Jenson from this fiery wreck. Photo by Brandon Bair.

As they recover physically, emotionally and mentally, Bair and Jenson are quickly building a bond that will continue for the foreseeable future, Bair says.

“I’ve spoken to him in the hospital and am getting to know him and his family,” Bair said. “Never once through this whole ordeal did he say anything about himself. He was more concerned about if he let anyone down. I think that shows the type of person he is. I’m sure I will know him for the rest of my life.” LL

WW Williams

SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.