Sheppard Airmen help rescue man after car crash

Airman 1st Class Haleigh Knox and Airman 1st Class Hailey Salyers, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron mental health technicians, were driving to a coworker’s wedding when a truck ahead of them swerved, overcorrected and drove into the median and began flipping. The two Airmen sprung into action, using self-aid buddy care techniques to aid the injured driver until paramedics arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert L. McIlrath)

Airman 1st Class Haleigh Knox and Airman 1st Class Hailey Salyers, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron mental health technicians, were driving to a coworker’s wedding when a truck ahead of them swerved, overcorrected and drove into the median and began flipping. The two Airmen sprung into action, using self-aid buddy care techniques to aid the injured driver until paramedics arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert L. McIlrath)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

A pair of Sheppard Air Force Base Airman helped rescue a man from a car crash outside of Henrietta, Texas, Aug. 19, 2016.

Airman 1st Class Hailey Salyers and Airman 1st Class Haleigh Knox, 82nd Medical Operations Squadron mental health technicians, were driving to a coworker’s wedding when a truck ahead of them swerved, overcorrected and drove into the median and began flipping. The truck eventually came to rest on its driver’s side.

“It was like slow motion watching it all happen,” Salyers said. “I looked at Knox and said ‘We have got to stop and help them.’”

Salyers’ hit the brakes and threw her car in park, the two Airmen sprinted towards the wreck.

“We were the first people on the scene to get to the crash,” Salyers said. “We could see the driver inside and he was conscious, we asked him if he was ok and if there was anyone else inside.”

The two Airmen knew the first thing that needed to be done was to get him out and away from the now smoking vehicle.

“I went to the back of the truck to see if there was a sliding glass window that I could open and pull him through but there wasn’t,” Knox said. “So I started kicking the back glass to see if it would break, but it didn’t give, so I went to the front wind shield and tried to kick that one and it wouldn’t give.”

Two men who were driving by saw the Airmen by the flipped truck and joined in the rescue.

“One of the guys came and started kicking the windshield with me and it still wouldn’t break,” Knox said. “Salyers told us to give her a boost up the side of the truck to the passenger door to try and pull him out that way.”

Salyers climbed to the top of the truck, opened the door and helped the injured motorist climb up to the top of the truck.

“Once he got to the top of the truck he fell backwards into the two guys’ arms,” Knox said. “We moved him away from the truck and to the side of the road.”

Finally able to pull the man from the wreckage, the Airmen used their medical expertise to give him aid.

“Salyers told one of the guys to call 911 and that’s when two civilian nurses showed up,” Knox said. “His legs were completely shattered and he had a really big gash on the side of his head. He kept trying to move around and get up but we told him to remain still because we didn’t know if he had a concussion or a neck injury.”

Knox took some gauze from the first aid kits the nurses had and applied it to his head to stop the bleeding, while Salyers returned to the wrecked vehicle to look for a way to identify the man.

The paramedics arrived and took over care of the injured man, just after Salyers began to cut the pant leg to reveal the severity of the leg wound.

“My heart was beating so fast while all of it was happening,” Knox said. “We just wanted to help him.”

“I don’t think those two guys would have been able to get him out of the truck without our help,” Salyers said.

The Air Force trains all Airmen to be prepared at a moment’s notice for real world emergencies. Two unsuspecting Airmen were trained and capable to react to the situation without hesitation.