Westminster football player who saved two lives gets award

11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, October 28 2016 Oct 28, 2016 Friday, October 28, 2016 4:00:00 AM CDT October 28, 2016 in News
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON - Pam and Bob Maxwell were involved in a head on collision near the intersection of Route J and Route F in August. Pam was severely injured and Bob's leg was pinned in the driver's side. That's when Westminster football player Jacob Ellis stepped in. 

Ellis, a senior defensive lineman, was driving home from church when he saw the crash the Maxwells were involved in actually happen. 

"First, I pulled over my car so I wasn't by the wreckage. I got out and saw smoke at first, then I saw flames and I knew I had to do something," Ellis said. 

He and Adam Bunk, of Holt's Summit, helped Pam, who was experiencing serious chest pain, to safety across the street. Then, Ellis went back to pull Bob out of the driver's side as the flames continued to rise in the vehicle. 

"I grabbed him under the shoulders and told him we had to get him out, we had to get his foot free. He managed to free his foot from the dashboard and we pulled him out just before the car completely caught on fire," Ellis said. 

Less than a minute later, the car was engulfed in flames. 

"He was so humble about it. He wasn't looking for any pat on the back or gratitude, it's just something that he did. The credit I give is to his parents, the way he was brought up," said John Welty, the head football coach at Westminster College. 

For his bravery and courage, Ellis will be awarded the Honorary Trooper Certificate along with Bunk, for helping someone on the roadways in dangerous conditions. The ceremony takes place at Mueller Leadership Hall on Westminster's campus at 9 a.m. 

After the incident, Ellis has stayed in touch with the Maxwells, who reached out to him following their rescue. 

"They needed some help moving, so me and my football team went out to their house and we helped them move things after they had lost their truck in the wreck," Ellis said. 

Before that moment, Welty called the team together so they could hear about Ellis' feat of bravery, since he had not told them himself. 

"So, after practice, we were getting ready to condition and I pulled Jacob up and I say, 'guys, I never met a super hero before. This is Batman, for real' I told them the story and we let him go in without any running after practice," Welty said. 

A fitting reward for a football player who went out of his way to help a couple in need. Friday, he gets something a little more tangible. 

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