LAS VEGAS (AP)- Prone to seizures and legally blind, David Hanna fought panic when a campfire exploded, engulfing his wife in flames. "You're my eyes," he told his 14-year-old daughter Krystallyn, sitting her on his lap behind the steering wheel of the family car in a race to find help for the critically burned woman. Paramedics say the quick action by the father and daughter saved the life of Tammyla Hanna, 34, who was reported in critical condition yesterday at University Medical Center.
Saturday's nightmare began when Tammyla Hanna poured gasoline on a fire in a barbecue grill at a remote campsite 25 miles southwest of Las Vegas. The subsequent explosion set fire to her head and hair.
Hanna said he couldn't find his cane and stumbled toward his wife, drawn by her cries for help and Krystallyn's screams of "Help, Daddy, Mommy's on fire!"
Hanna said he found his wife, who was trying to rub her head in the dirt and rocks as she screamed "I'm dying! I'm dying!" He ripped her jacket from her and smothered the flames, then got her into the front seat of the car.
He got in the driver's side, slid the seat back, then told Krystallyn, "You're my eyes. I can't see. If you see a car, block the road. We have to get Mommy to help. Don't listen to anyone but me."
In a telephone interview from his home in Pahrump, Nev., 60 miles west of here, Hanna, 35, said he didn't have time to worry about whether his daughter was up to the task.
"I worked the gas pedal and she steered," Hanna said. Krystallyn said she was afraid of the responsibility, but more afraid of what would happen to her mother.
"I wanted to get my mom some help," she said yesterday.
After driving for what Hanna described as "forever," Krystallyn noticed an oncoming vehicle and - as instructed - turned the family car to block the road.
The motorist stopped, then raced the burned woman and her family to a fire station, where a helicopter from Las Vegas was dispatched.