SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Christian Flores and Christopher Thorp are two strangers but share a common, tragic moment.
In Sonoma County in 2007, a speeding driver crashed into the car then four-year-old Flores was riding in. He was with his mother, older brother, and another couple.
Thorp, a former Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy, said, "He was the only survivor. He was cleared from the car just enough so his torso and his head was reachable but he was trapped."
Thorp was first on the scene and pulled Flores out. He lost an arm and had third degree burns over 90 percent of his body. He also lost all of his family members in that car.
Now, fast forward 12 years.
It was just pure luck that Thorp was at a Less Schwab on Monday, getting his tires rotated and he noticed a young man who looked familiar. Someone he hadn't seen since 2007. He walked up to him and asked, 'Are you Christian?' The answer was 'yes'."
"If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here," Flores said.
Thorp was still so shaken by the chance encounter, so he gave Flores the Medal of Valor his department gave him for saving the young boy that day.
"He deserves it far better than anyone else," Thorp said.
The medal will be passed on once again.
Flores plans to place it below the photo of his older brother, who died in the car that day.
Burn victim, deputy who saved him cross paths 12 years later: 'If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here'
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