Iraq combat vet pulls woman from burning car just before it explodes

An Iraq combat veteran is being hailed a hero for helping rescue a woman from a burning car just before it exploded.

Staff Sgt. Cory Hinkle of the North Carolina National Guard reacted quickly on Monday when he saw a head-on crash in Shelby, N.C., local new outlets reported.

Hinkle and another man rescued the woman, Brandy Guin, from her car and then he shielded her body with his as the car exploded.

“I’ve been in the military for 15 years,” Hinkle told the Shelby Star newspaper. “It’s instinct for me. I made the decision right then that if something came off the car, it’d have to go through me first.”

He was slightly injured after being struck in the foot by a piece of flying metal.

Hinkle served in Iraq where he cleared roadside bombs, WSOC-TV reported. A bomb once blew up near him.

Guin, 28, told WBTV she appreciated what Hinkle.

She broke her ankle in the crash and couldn't stand.

The station reported that Hinkle went to the hospital to visit Guin.

“I will forever be indebted to him,” she told the station.