Campbell Co., VA - A good Samaritan never gave up on finding the 13-year-old boy he saved in a Bedford County wreck. Fourty years later, that persistence is paying off.
J.S. Meador and his wife were driving to his parents' home on Route 122 when they came across a fiery crash on Route 122. He got out of his car to check and found the driver dead in the front seat.
"I heard this little boy in the backseat and said, 'Mr. please, get me out of here," recalled Meador 40 years after the rescue.
Meador pulled the 13-year-old boy out of the backseat, his legs were badly mangled.
The boy's father had died instantly.
Meador drove away once rescuers arrived, but never stopped looking back.
Charles Day spent all those years wondering too. Now he's on his annual visit since their first reunion five years ago.
"Not really knowing someone that saved your life and you get to meet him -- it puts you back," Day said of the experience.
He's married with children of his own now, but considers Meador family.
"I'll never ever forget Carolyn, when she first saw me. She came up and said, 'If it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have that good man for a husband," Meador recalled of the first conversation he had with Day's wife.
But to truly understand this friendship, you have to know about Cindy, Meador's only child. She died in a car crash at 16 years old, six months before Day was rescued.
It's as if a higher power knew, one day, these two, would need each other.
"I know that god had to have been watching over me," Day said.
The two men now bound by loss and the fateful Christmas Day that brought them together.
"He's my buddy. He says he's gonna be a pallbearer for me if he outlives me," Meador said of Day.