WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (FOX 13) - A Winter Haven man risked his own safety to save the life of a 16-year-old girl after a plane crashed the roof of her family home last weekend.
Last Saturday, Moise Saint Hillare heard a weird noise overhead. Living near Winter Haven Regional Airport for the better part of his life, he knew the sound of a plane in trouble. And this was it.
He saw the seaplane go down, crashing right through the roof of his childhood buddy’s house on Idylridge Drive.
“Something inside me just snapped," Saint Hillare told FOX 13. “I rushed in, kicked the door in, and told everybody to get out.”
He pulled out his cellphone and began recording what would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
He discovered that the pilot had been killed, and a student pilot had survived.
Saint Hillare's friend was frantic.
“I was telling him, 'Calm down, calm down,'” he recalled. “He was like, 'My sister, my sister.'”
His sister had been sleeping in the room where the plane crashed. The falling wreckage had thrust her upper body right through a wall. She was pinned down, unable to move.
“I told her, 'It’s OK. God is with us, with you. I promise, I am not going to leave you,'” he said.
That's when he realized aviation fuel was leaking all over. So he ran outside and cut the electricity to the house “so there wouldn’t be no explosion,” he explained.
He then went back in and tried to keep the trapped teen as calm as possible until rescue crews arrived.
When asked if he was ever afraid during the ordeal, Saint Hillare replied, “No, because God was with me.”
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.
Hillare says the teen has been in and out of the hospital, and is doing better than expected, considering all she has been through.