VIRGINIA BEACH - For Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Beane, timing was everything.
On Friday, he was visiting a friend at Mayfair Mews apartments when the F/A-18D Hornet crashed. It landed about 200 feet from where they were standing.
He saw the fire and heard the explosion and ran to help, knocking on doors to get people out of their apartments. Around the corner of one building, he saw a pilot, still in his parachute that was caught on the roof.
He went to help and a man jumped over the fence to help,too.
After checking for any injuries, they moved the pilot, who started talking.
"He kept asking if everybody else was okay," Beane said. "He asked about the people on the ground and the other pilot. His own safety was the last thing on his mind."
Beane was treated for smoke inhalation then was allowed to go home.
"My training as a Coast Guardsman prepares me to react to emergencies," Beane said. "The real heroes are the good Samaritans. Their instinct to help overrides any fears they could have."
Beane is a canine handler stationed with the Maritime Security Response Team.