A weekend has passed for 17-year-old Rachael Gravely to meet with the man who saved her life from a devastating car accident, Keith Worley.
Gravely, a Woodrow Wilson High School junior, will remember last Friday for the rest of her life. She nearly lost it.
On her way to school that morning, Gravely quickly tried to turn into the other lane on New River Drive, but as she saw another car headed her way, she swerved back towards the edge of the street.
“When I swerved back over, my car went down, and there was a creek at the bottom,” Gravely tells 59News. “And I flipped. I don’t know how many times I flipped, but yeah I flipped down into the creek.”
As the water continued to fill her car for almost 10 minutes following the crash, Gravely feared she was going to drown.
“Every piece of me thought I was going to die,” Gravely says. “I didn’t think anybody saw it. Normally I go past there every single day, and nobody’s on the road, ever, so I didn’t know if anybody saw.”
But fate would have it that Worley, Beckley Pawn and Gun Shop owner, saw the car had gone over the embankment and immediately rushed to her aid. Worley says he jumped in the water and was able to pull Gravely out of her car.
But he would prefer you didn’t call him a hero.
“You know I do not like that word,” Worley tells 59News. “I do not feel like a hero. One of the most upsetting parts about all of this, and I have openly told everyone. I just did what I would really like to believe anyone would have done. And I’m going to believe that for the rest of my life.”
Gravely is now safe and in the care of her family again. She came to Worley’s pawn and gun shop to give back the sweater he let her borrow as she was recovering from the crash.
Worley told her to keep it.
“He may not think that he’s a hero, but he truly is my hero,” Gravely says. “He truly is. I’m so, so thankful for him, he’s an awesome person.”
Follow Joe Putrelo on Twitter @Joe_Putrelo.