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Blaze player helps save figure skater's life

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Utah Blaze wide receiver Aaron Lesue helped rescue U.S. figure skater Brianna Hatch from a burning car.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - On April 24th, Brianna Hatch, a figure skater who has represented the United States in many international competitions, was driving back to BYU when a car swerved into her lane.

"I tried to get out of the way, but I hit the barrier at full speed," Hatch recalled. "My car rolled a few times and skidded across the road upside down. Then the engine began to catch fire and there was smoke in the car.

"I couldn't see the doors very well because the car had crumpled so much. I couldn't really breathe because the car was filling up with so much smoke. That's when I saw Aaron."

Aaron Lesue, a Utah Blaze wide receiver, was driving home from practice when he saw the accident happen in front of him.

"The only thing I could think of in the moment was to stop and help," Lesue said.

That's exactly what Lesue did. He a few other people helped drag Hatch from the car, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out, saving her life.

"At that moment, there was no hesitation at all," Lesue said. "Someone needed help, so you go do the best that you can. You go from driving home one minute thinking about something completely different, to completely caring for someone you don't even know."

Hatch was conscious the entire time, but was extremely scared.

"I was really shaking a lot," Hatch said. "I tried to speak, but I was so shaken up. I just remember reaching out for some support and comfort, and I grabbed Aaron's hand and squeazed it tight. That's when I calmed down a little bit. He was amazing at the accident. He was just a great comfort."

"That was a very special moment for me," Lesue said. "Because I realized that physically, she was going to be OK."

Police officers on the scene were stunned the accident didn't result in a fatality. Miraculously, Brianna survived. She did suffer injuries to her shoulder, sternum and rib cage, but plans on competing again next year.

As a result of their chance encounter, Brianna and Aaron have become great friends.

"To be able to connect with someone and become so close to them so quickly," Lesue said. "When you have that moment when they're in your arms and you don't know if they're going to live or die and you're holding their hand, you have a special unique bond that happens there. We were able to become friends really quickly."

"I had no idea who he was," said Hatch. "It wasn't until he had found me on Facebook and we started talking. Then I realized who this amazing guy and that we have so much in common being athletes."

On May 4th, Lesue invited Brianna to a Blaze game, and after scoring a touchdown on a kick return, ran across the field to give Brianna the ball.

"I didn't even know you could do that in arena football," Hatch said. "I got to keep a little souvenir from his game, so it was a really awesome memory."

While Lesue was directly responsible for helping save Brianna's life, he doesn't consider himself to be a hero, and says he has learned more from her than he could ever imagine.

"I felt like she was just as much of an angel to me, as she felt we were to her," Lesue said. "Because often times you get caught up in life just going about your day to day routine and you forget how special and life is. To see her bounce back from that day so quickly, if I were able to bounce back from half the things that I deal with half as quick as her, I'd be that much better of a football player and a lot better of a person."

"Probably the biggest lesson that I have learned is you can't take life for granted," said Hatch. "You never know what is going to happen today or tomorrow. Service is very important and you have your eyes open to those in need. Just like Aaron did for me, I hope that I can be like him someday where somebody else needs me."
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