Lisa Follett’s half-sister, Michelle Cotton-Miller of East Kingston, N.H., gives Phillip Palker of Bedford, N.H., a big hug. Palker and an unidentified man pulled Follett out of a burning vehicle to safety. Also on hand to thank Palker were Lisa's identical twin sister, Sandy Denesowicz of Fishers, Ind., Michelle's daughter Melissa Cotton, 16, and Jeff Follett, Lisa's husband, of Methuen. Follett is recovering in Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H.

In a tearful meeting yesterday, Jeff Follett of Methuen got to say thank you to the man who pulled his wife from a smoldering car wreck, saving her life.

As soon as Phillip Palker walked into the room at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., the two men hugged while Follett’s two sisters-in-law cried.

“Thank you, all I can say is thank you,” Follett said to Palker.

Palker, of Bedford, N.H., was one of two men who pulled 27-year-old Lisa Follett of Methuen out of her car after a crash on Interstate 93 in Hooksett, N.H., Tuesday, in which a New Hampshire woman was killed. Police are investigating.

Lisa Follett, a mother of two, remains at Elliot Hospital in serious condition and was operated on yesterday for internal injuries, her husband said.

“He’s the reason my sister, my other half, is still here,” said Sandy Denesowicz, Lisa’s identical twin sister who lives in Fishers, Ind. “What he did is nothing short of amazing.”

Palker was driving north on I-93 in Hooksett Tuesday night with three of his six children in the car. He was taking his sons, ages 10, 13 and 14, to hockey practice. He saw a car accident on the other side of the highway and a 2003 Pathfinder flipped over and on fire. Palker called 911, handed the phone to his 13-year-old son and ran across the highway to help.

Palker, 42, and an unidentified man ran to Follett’s burning car. The driver’s side door was jammed.

“It took all we had to pull it open,” Palker said.

The men heard a muffled moan and found Lisa Follett still buckled in to her seat. Palker wrapped his arms around her, and the two men carried her about 30 yards away, he said. Moments later, the car was completely engulfed in flames.

“They are saints,” Jeff Follett said. “Without them I’d be a single father.”

Neither Palker nor the Folletts know who the other man is who helped rescue Lisa.

Palker was happy to meet the family yesterday and said he did what anyone else would do.

“I didn’t fear going into that car,” Palker said. “I didn’t think twice about going in. I did what I needed to do in that moment. I hope that if that was my wife in that car that someone would have done the same thing.”

Michelle Cotton-Miller, Lisa Follett’s sister, called Palker “a guardian angel.”

“You risked your own life with your kids in the car,” said Cotton-Miller, of East Kingston, N.H. “We are so grateful.”

But Palker didn’t want to be called a hero.

“It was the right chain of events; I was in the right place at the right time,” said Palker, who had come home early from a trip to New York for the birth of his nephew. “I’m glad I could help. She’s alive, and that’s the best.”

Jeff Follett said his wife has no recollection of the accident. Lisa Follett was taking her eyeglasses to be fixed when she was driving north on I-93 around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said Lisa Follett’s vehicle veered across the highway, over the grass median and into the southbound lanes, crashing into an oncoming minivan. June Day, 50, of Auburn, N.H., was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. There were no passengers in either of the two vehicles. Police have not yet released information on the cause of the crash.

Denesowicz said they are devastated by Day’s death.

“There’s not a moment that I haven’t thought about her or her family,” Denesowicz said. “This is a horrible tragedy.”

Cotton-Miller said Lisa Follett will be devastated when she learns that a person was killed.

“I feel unbelievable sorrow for the woman who died,” Jeff Follett said.

Jeff Follett said he expects Lisa to have a long road to recovery. The couple just celebrated their sixth anniversary and have two daughters, 5-year-old Rebecca and 7-month-old Meredith. They have lived in Methuen for five years.

Lisa Follett is a stay-at-home mom and is studying at Middlesex Community College to become a nurse.

“She’s a very strong woman. She’s going to make it,” said Jeff Follett, who owns a car-detailing business in Lawrence. “She’s a fantastic mother. All her life she’s wanted to be a nurse. I hope everything can go back to normal.”

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