Darin Barton from Denver, Colorado, spent many days panhandling at a busy intersection so he could afford to eat, which is why he was nearby to save lives during a massive pileup.
Barton said he became homeless in July 2014 after being injured in an accident involving a light-rail train and a car in Denver. Afterward, additional injuries made it hard for Barton to find work, forcing him to sleep under overpasses and struggle to earn even a few dollars.
In April this year, Barton was holding a sign asking drivers for help on Interstate 70 in Lakewood when he witnessed a 15-vehicle crash. A semitrailer crashed into multiple passenger cars, rolled over, and immediately caught on fire.
Wasting no time, Barton dropped his sign and rushed toward the flames to pull people to safety.
While Barton did not see himself as a hero, plenty of other people did. To thank him for selflessly risking his own life, a local news station set up an Amazon wish list for him that included thousands of dollars worth of gift cards for food, clothes, and other necessities.
A driver who narrowly escaped the crash with his son also came up with a special way to give back.
The driver brought his entire office together and raised enough money to buy Barton a brand new scooter—the only item Barton had specifically asked for so he would have a way to get around.
“That’s the perfect color too!” Barton said of the scooter.