The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Knives Save Lives: Saved from a burning vehicle

If it hadn’t been for one man’s initiative and quick access to a knife, a woman from Maine could have been burned alive in an accident late last week, which earns it a place in our Knives Save Lives series.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Laura Morgan’s 2004 Toyota Camry veered off the road and flipped on its side after crashing into a tree.

Luckily, 35-year-old Chad Curtis heard the ruckus and went to investigate. He saw the car quickly filling with smoke at the bottom of an embankment and rushed to the vehicle.

Here’s how the article described the situation:

He found Morgan hanging out the driver’s side door against her seat belt, which was making it hard for her to breathe. There was smoke coming from the ruined front of the car, but no flames yet. Curtis unfastened the lower portion of the seat belt, but the upper portion, which operates separately from the lower belt, was still tangled around Morgan.

Morgan was in and out of consciousness and people were slowly gathering around the accident, but time was sticking away with the woman still trapped in the volatile vehicle.

As he was trying to pull her out, an unidentified hero tossed Curtis a knife, which he promptly used to cut her out of the seat belt. They carried her to safety and in minutes, the car was completely engulfed in flames.

There’s no denying Chad’s action helped save her life, but without the knife of a mysterious bystander, he would have had a difficult time getting her out, which may have resulted in unimaginable ramifications.

What’s interesting about this story is not that an unidentified bystander helped save this woman’s life with a knife, it’s that Maine’s knife laws prohibit people from carrying many types of knives.

The comments section to the article was alight with people making snarky comments about how the mysterious hero could be facing concealed weapons charges. People are often arrested for possessing illegal knives in Maine. According to state laws, a dangerous knife is “any knife having a blade which opens or falls or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward or centrifugal thrust or movement.”

Depending on the interpretation of that definition, many folding knives could easily fall under that category.

If the state adopts strict interpretations of this definition and concealed weapons, there may come a time when a poor trapped woman isn’t about to escape a burning vehicle because no one has a knife to cut the belt. As this riveting story confirms, knives save lives.


Timothy Martinez Jr. is the community director for Knife Depot and the editor of The Cutting Edge. If you have any questions or ideas for The Cutting Edge, you can contact him at
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  1. Have carried a knife every day since I was about 10 years old. Countless times it has come in sooooooooooo handy!!

  2. I really need to get a knife sharpener, I carry my S&W knife around quite a bit, but the darn blade is getting dull.

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