In an unexpected moment seven years ago, Shaun Pryor's life completely changed.
“I was horrified,” he said.
Near May Ave. and the Kilpatrick Turnpike, he was hit by a texting driver and his vehicle rolled five times.
Pryor managed to get out on his own without any major injuries.
“It was really kind of amazing,” Officer William Rankin said.
Officer Rankin was first on scene and surprised to see Pryor in such good shape after the violent crash.
Pryor said Officer Rankin helped him to his police vehicle to sit and they talked about football.
“It was his actions, his demeanor.” Pryor explained.
And more than just being calm and collected, Pryor said Officer Rankin inspired him.
“He is definitely why I’m standing here today,” Pryor told News 9. “If I can make sure someone else has a chance and someone else is going to feel the feeling that I feel, I’m doing the right thing."
He is now a firefighter with Deer Creek Fire Protection District.
And after much too long Firefighter Pryor and now Sergeant Rankin got to meet up for the first time since the crash. It was an exciting and emotional reunion.
“You changed a life, man,” Pryor told Rankin as they shook hands.
It was a chance for Pryor to say ‘thank you’ as he had wanted to do for all these years. And to show Rankin he was paying it forward.
“That’s a really cool thing to hear, you know, somebody like that to come and choose a public service path like that. I mean, that’s great for him, really happy for him,” Sgt. Rankin said.
They both plan to keep in touch, refusing to let another seven years go by before they get together again.