Nick Harris, 32, was dropping his daughter off at school when he saw a car about to back over another young student. He ran to the back of the car and lifted it to get the tire off the 6-year-old first grader, the Salina (Kansas) Journal reported Saturday.
After freeing the child, Harris stayed by her side as others called 911. The girl was taken to the local hospital in Ottawa, Kan., then airlifted to a Kansas City Hospital, the newspaper said.
She suffered a concussion and some road rash in the Dec. 12 incident, but was able to go home the same day.
"I don't consider myself a hero at all," Harris said. "Everything happens for a reason. To me, it was payment enough when she gave me that huge hug and said, 'Thanks, Superman.'"