By Agrippina Fadel
Bryan Aparicio and Su Hninyi were on the way to a cruise when the tragedy struck.
The couple’s Uber was caught in a horrible accident after another vehicle veered in front of a fuel tanker, causing it to crash and burst into flames.
Bryan and Su had seconds to get out of the vehicle, and Bryan’s skills as a Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue firefighter had kicked in, saving them both.
The accident that closed I-95 in both directions for hours on October 25, critically injuring five people, was seen from miles away, with towers of black smoke covering the highway.
The couple’s car was completely engulfed with flames, and Bryan pushed the back window out with his body and was able to get out.
His colleague, Lieutenant Eric Solera, with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue, said Bryan was able to get out of the vehicle first with almost no injuries, but once he realized Su was not right behind him, he had to make a decision.
“He went back in the car through the same window that he just used to escape, and through the fire and smoke and in zero visibility, he found her and was able to get her out. They walked to safety, where fire rescue crews were able to take care of them,” Solera said.
Bryan suffered second and third-degree burns to his face, head, and arms and was transported to Delray Medical by ground, while Su was flown to Jackson Memorial with second and third-degree burns on both her legs and hands.
Bryan has since been released from the hospital, and Su has just undergone surgery.
“What Bryan did was truly remarkable and heroic,” Solera said.
Solera and his fellow firefighters had started a GoFundMe page for Bryan and Su on the same day they learned about the devastating news of the accident. So far, the campaign has raised $92.477 out of the $200K goal.
“We discussed it at the station how overwhelming it would be for Bryan and Su to think about the medical bills and other expenses that come with surviving an accident like this. Their road to recovery is very lengthy, and we wanted to take some of that worry away,” Solera explained.
He said it makes him proud to serve the Broward County community that came together and supported “one of our own” in these difficult times.
“Bryan was not on duty when he got hurt, but firefighters are always on duty. He didn’t have any equipment, but he still had his skills and did what he had to do to save a life. It is very joyful to see the outpouring of support from everyone,” Solera added.
Born in Myanmar, Su grew up in Coral Springs and attended Coral Springs Charter School for middle and high school. A personal trainer, she now lives and works in Miami. Su and Bryan have been dating for four years after meeting in Gainesville, where Su attended the University of Florida, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
“Bryan is an amazing firefighter, probably one of the best-skilled firefighters I know, and he used his skills to get us out of the fire,” said Su, adding that the support, prayers, kind messages, and donations mean the world to the couple.
“We never thought we had so much support or love. We never expected the donations, but we are so thankful and grateful for the community’s support to help with our recovery,” she added.
- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master’s in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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