AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - It was an emotional reunion for Scott Nelson Friday morning.
"I just want to say thank you, I love you guys,” said Nelson to the men sitting next to him.
The two men with Nelson are credited with saving his life.
"It’s a miracle that two firefighters showed up as two of the first people on the scene,” said Nelson.
The scene Lake Travis firefighter Chris Wood and Austin firefighter Justin LaPree encountered on March 14 was chaotic. Both men were off duty at the time and just happened to be in the area.
“I used to be a man that thought coincidences happen, I have changed that thought process and believe Chris and I were totally here on that same road at that time for a specific reason,” said LaPree.
The two firemen, without hesitation and without protective gear, moved in.
"It was a real traumatic scene, and I've been through a bunch of critical incidents but this one made an impact that’s probably going to stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Wood.
The plane was broken apart and so was the fuel tank.
"We were so concerned about with all the fuel dumping in the cockpit if that plane had gone up in flames none of us would have been here, so seconds absolutely were, made the difference here,” said LaPree.
It all happened near the Lakeway Airpark in the middle of a residential neighborhood. A final NTSB report on the cause of the crash has not been filed but investigators noted the plane went down after a third landing attempt.
Nelson is an instructor and was on a training flight with his friend Kevin Wayne Henderson, who died in the crash. Nelson doesn’t remember what happened, but he does remember the pain from his shattered bones.
"The entire left side of my body was pretty much crushed,” said Nelson.
Wood and LaPree are military veterans, and despite working for different departments, they acted like old teammates. The two also praised a nurse and several others who arrived on the scene.
“I still sit here and I'm amazed that neither one of them will take credit for the work they did, off-duty firefighters who stopped everything to help someone they don’t know, it’s pretty amazing,” said Nelson.
The three men now wear crosses to signify their bond.
"We are here together for a reason, and we will be brothers forever,” said Nelson.
The crosses are similar to the one Nelson had on the day of the crash - and lost during the rescue.
"His wife bought all three of us the same cross and so we are all going to were the same cross for the rest of our lives,” said Wood.
Nelson has a long road to recovery, but he still wants to fly and looks forward to the day he is back in the air.