Skip to comments.Airmen pull motorist from burning vehicle
Posted on 07/10/2009 5:01:59 PM PDT by SandRat
7/10/2009 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) -- Two members of the 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron rescued a resident of Belt, Mont., June 26 after his pickup struck a bridge, caught fire, left the road and came to a stop upside down in Belt Creek in Montana.
Senior Airmen Christopher Zachary and Kyle Long where driving on Hughsville Road near Monarch when they stopped to tighten their truck's topper that shifted while driving over the dirt road's washboard surface.
"We were just finishing up with the topper when he drove past us," Airman Zachary said. "It was a combination of speed and the washboards. His truck lost control around the corner and hit the bridge abutment, then stopped in the creek. It caught fire instantly."
The Airmen said they called for paramedics on their vehicle's radio, secured their gear and drove up alongside where the pickup had left the road to find the fire spreading quickly.
"Oil and gas was on fire on top of the water in the creek," Airman Long said. "The tires were catching on fire, and driver's side of the truck was submerged in about a foot of water."
When Airman Long reached the vehicle, he found the driver was conscious but in a daze.
"I helped him out of the truck and up the slope to where our truck was," Airman Long said. "He was really upset about his truck, and we were concentrating on keeping him still."
Shortly after the two helped the motorist to safety, Montana State Trooper Sam Goodemoot arrived on scene.
"It was quite a bad wreck," Trooper Goodemoot said. "The cab of the truck was completely burnt. There was no seat, dials or dashboard left. Even the softer metal like wiring was melted."
The man was transported by ambulance to Benefis East, where he was treated for his wounds. Trooper Goodemoot visited him in the hospital the following day.
"They had his neck immobilized, and he said they told him his neck was broken," Trooper Goodemoot said. "He has no clue how lucky he is."
The trooper continued by saying he definitely appreciated the Airmen's actions.
"They contributed valuable information that I needed to evaluate what happened," he said. "Secondly, the driver may not have gotten out of the vehicle had they not been there. They put themselves in harm's way to help someone they didn't even know. I would like to thank the two Airmen for everything they did. It was awesome."
“The man was transported by ambulance to Benefis East, where he was treated for his wounds.”
Servicemen have ‘wounds’.
Civilians have ‘injuries’.
Writer got a little caught up in the cheering.
But, that’s ok...
There’s no one more likely to render help in a crisis than a military person.
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