Jon Smith honored with saving life of 15-year-old Michael Placencia

MESA, AZ - A Valley man was recognized Monday for helping save the life of a teenager who had been hit by a car.

Michael Placencia, 15, was walking to a corner store on March 3 when he was hit by a car that had been involved in a nearby crash. His leg became pinned and he was severely injured.

Jon Smith was working at a military surplus store when he heard the crash and ran outside to start assessing the situation.

He yelled to a co-worker to grab his trauma bag and quickly realized the teenager was in need of medical care. But, he's quick to point out that he doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I just knew I had the tools to make a difference, so I made a difference," he said.

As for Michael, "everything has changed, but hasn't really changed me." The teenager plans on entering rehab soon, getting fitting for a prosthetic and then taking up boxing.

He doesn't remember anything from the accident, but says he's just thankful to be alive.

Smith was awarded a certificate, as well as pictures with Mesa Mayor Alex Finter. Smith leaves for Marine Officer Candidate School in July.

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