Winston-Salem State player saves teen from burning car

Written By Steven J. Gaither
SharpeKenneth713FTR
(WRAL)

The heroic actions of Winston-Salem (N.C.) State running back Kenneth Sharpe saved a teenager from the wreckage of a burning car in eastern North Carolina on Friday.

Sharpe and his girlfriend were driving when they came across the accident after two vehicles collided. After getting out of his vehicle, Sharpe found 13-year-old Benjamin Rodwell attempting to crawl out of his brother’s vehicle, which was overturned and on fire.

MORE: SN Preseason Top 25 | Top 15 since 2000

"He was about four feet from the fire," Sharpe told WRAL. "And I got to him. I was about a good five or six (feet). And I told him 'Hey crawl to me, crawl to me.' I grabbed him. I pulled him on my shoulder and I automatically started taking him to the car."

Sharpe, 19, comes from a family of firefighters. He made sure to keep Rodwell awake on the way to Halifax Regional Medical Center.

"I said 'What's your favorite color,' " Sharpe said. "He said 'My favorite color is orange.' I said 'What sport do you like to play?' He said 'I like to play football.' "

Rodwell suffered severe injuries on the lower half of his body, and is expected to have surgery Monday. The accident claimed the life of Rodwell's 17-year-old brother, Zachary, as well 23-year-old Brandon Lee, who was driving the other vehicle.  

It might have claimed Rodwell's life too, if it had not been for the initiative of Sharpe, who state troopers and the Rodwell family call a hero.

"If that was anybody I would, you know, do it," he said. "Because if that was me in that predicament I would want somebody to do the same thing."

Sharpe hopes to invite Benjamin to one of his football games this season. 

Latest News

michael-penix-0723-getty-FTR.jpg
Hoosiers chasing Ohio State's 'gold standard' with Big Ten title in mind
Bender: Indiana encore worth watching
Texas-OU-Getty-FTR-072321
College football realignment updates: Latest news as Texas, Oklahoma reportedly leave Big 12
College football realignment updates
Big-12-072116-FTR.jpg
A Big 12 without Texas, Oklahoma? Conference's best realignment options
Bender: Big 12 survival plan without OU, Texas
Jim Harbaugh-010120-GETTY-FTR
Michigan, Jim Harbaugh using new defense to defend against Ohio State streak, hot-seat talk
Bender: Michigan, Harbaugh love new-look defense
Kevin-Warren-0722-getty-FTR.jpg
Big Ten, with lack of options, right to avoid expansion talk for now
Bender: Big Ten in wait-and-see mode with expansion talk