This blog has talked about Good Samaritans before (see a previous blog about Georgia’s Good Samaritan laws here), so our Atlanta car accident attorneys noticed a recent story about good citizens helping someone in a car accident earlier this week.
On Monday in Forsyth County, 60 year old Maria Josefa Martinez, a custodian with Forsyth County Schools, was driving southbound on Ga. 400 near Pilgrim Mill Road in a small red passenger car. She hit the back of a tractor trailer, spun out of control and smashed into the side of a van also travelling southbound. The van was driven by a paraplegic man who was also injured in the crash and was trapped in his van, which was specially built to be driven by the driver who required a wheelchair. Fortunately, three random drivers passing by who saw the accident stopped and rushed in to help out at the scene. One man, a paramedic off duty, Todd Holloway, tried to revive Ms. Martinez with CPR. He told reporters, “The other guy, who pulled in behind me went over to the van to help with that guy and he said ‘I need help the van’s on fire.’ He’s handicapped, he can’t get out.” Mr. Holloway went to assist in pulling him out before returning to try to help Ms. Martinez. Unfortunately, Ms. Martinez later died of injuries she sustained in the crash. Mr. Holloway and two other men, Gary McBryer and Terry Johnson, managed to save the injured van driver, though. The passenger side door was jammed from the accident, so they went to the driver’s side door, bear-hugged the injured driver, and pulled him out of the van through the driver’s door. Only minutes after pulling the driver to safety, the van burst into flames. The man is now in stable condition at Northside Forsyth Hospital.
The men risked their own lives to save this man. Mr. McBryer, a construction worker, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I just reacted, I didn’t even think.” Mr. Holloway said, “We didn’t take all of the precautions but in that sort of situation, we just wanted to get him out. I’ve been in emergency for 10 years. That’s what I do for a living. It was just natural. I enjoy helping others.” Neither man described himself as a hero for stepping in and saving a life. Mr. McBryer said he was taught to help his neighbors and he believes 90 percent of good people would have done the same in that situation.