A U.S. Army Central soldier saved the life of one man and gave proper first aid to another following an accident on Highway 378 in Sumter Thursday, officials with Shaw Air Force Base said.
Sgt. 1st Class John Jackson was returning from an appointment at Fort Jackson Thursday morning when he saw a vacuum sewage truck crash into a tree.
Jackson said he smelled fuel and saw sparks and smoke coming from the car when he made it to the vehicle. He then removed the two men from the area and began performing first aid on both of them.
"I could see that there were two people inside the vehicle: a driver and a passenger," Jackson said. "The passenger was in a tremendous amount of pain. And as I was able to move further down to where I could visually see his legs, at that time, I realized that one of his legs had been ripped off."
Jeremy Brunson, one of the crash victims, lost his leg below the knee in the crash. He was eventually airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland to be treated for his injuries.
"He is much better than yesterday," said Jeremy's mom Susan Brunson. "He's still in a lot of pain, but his spirits are good."
She's a mother who has nothing but thanks for Jackson. A mother who says without a doubt the soldier saved her son's life.
"Well, I appreciate their words, and I would like to think that anybody would have done the same thing," Jackson said.
Jackson, who has served four tours of duty in Iraq and two tours of duty in Afghanistan, said his experience in both theaters helped him provide the aid both men needed.
A short time later, Sumter County Emergency Medical Services arrived and found the two men had already been given first aid by Jackson.
The accident remains under investigation.
The family has set up a gofundme account to help with medical expenses. For more information, visit gofundme.com/88n8rc.
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