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The picture is great, now seen around the world. But the story behind it is even better.

On Tuesday, Brad Luddeke was dressed as Santa Claus, delivering packages to needy families, when he drove up to a two-car crash at a Coppell intersection.

Luddeke, in full costume, jumped into action, pulling Michael Walker from his car before it exploded. Then he directed traffic around the wreckage.

The first thing I see is Santa running toward my vehicle yelling, 'Are you okay?' And I'm thinking, 'Why is Santa asking if I'm okay?' Walker recalled.

It all brought back memories of Luddeke's own teenage son, Jordan, who died in a wreck seven years ago.

It was unbelievable. It was unreal. I think my son had a hand in it, Luddeke said.

This heroic Santa now believes his son somehow played a role in the rescue. And now there may be a reason to believe.

As it turns out, his son had been close friends with Amber Walker, the daughter of the man Luddeke saved.

Any time you think of him, you just want to smile, because he was genuinely an awesome person, Amber said.

Seven years later, she still keeps a hot pink folder full of photos of her friend, Jordan Luddeke, and clippings from the day he died.

And now, she knows that her friend's dad, Brad Luddeke, probably saved her own father's life.

Honestly, it makes me feel like he's still here... like he's not gone, Amber Walker said.

Brad Luddeke feels the same way. It's a gift. That's all I can say. It's a gift.

It's also a great story of a Good Samaritan, and one that we probably never would've heard about if not for one thing: That Santa suit.

Love you, babe. You're my angel. Keep his memory alive, okay? said Luddeke to Amber Walker as they hugged after seeing each other Wednesday for the first time in years.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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