OSF Airman helps out during car accident

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mosness
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
A Keesler Airman was a first responder at the scene of a two car crash recently.

Senior Airman Gavin Hunter, 81st Operational Support Flight air traffic controller stopped and gave aid during a vehicle accident on a local highway.

"My girlfriend and I were coming back from Thanksgiving dinner," Hunter said. "As we were driving, we saw a lot of debris on the road. There was a car pulled over and a car in the ditch. The car in the ditch was on fire. We pulled over, and I immediately jumped out and called 911."

The senior airman doesn't remember thinking about helping, but he said it all just kicked in.

"I ran over to the car in the median," he continued. "It was completely crumpled. I looked in to check on him and he was dead. Once I realized I couldn't help him I ran over to the truck in the ditch. At this point a group of people had formed and were trying to get the man in the truck out of his vehicle."

Hunter likened the scene to something he had seen in a movie. As the crowd pulled out the man and carried him away from the flames, there were two popping sounds and a small explosion that caused more fire, he said.

Hunter proceeded to run down to the ditch to help the others carry him further away from the fire.

"We were trying to keep him awake," he said. "He was conscious and wiggling around when paramedics showed up."

Although the situation occurred so fast, Hunter reasons his body kicked into autopilot to help out.

"I didn't think about not helping," he added. "It was a chance to do something. It was my first time seeing a dead body. I had to remind myself to breathe."

Though Hunter had no experience as a first responder he said his Air Force training kept him level headed.

"My training kept me calmer," he said. "I knew what to do and was more confident in my abilities."

Hunter's supervisor wasn't surprised that he stopped and rendered aid.

"Senior Airman Hunter messaged me that next morning to inform me of what happened, said Senior Airman Chadwick Stradling, 81st OSF air traffic controller. "He was a little shaken up from the experience, but you could tell he was happy because he had stepped in to help someone in need. I have no doubts that if a similar situation were to happen, SrA Hunter would stop again and provide assistance."

Stradling explained Hunter was just being himself when he stopped to help.

"It's not shock that Hunter stopped to render aid and call for emergencies services upon arriving on an accident scene," he said. "Hunter is a very compassionate individual and would never see an accident and continue driving. His actions while providing a potentially live saving service are reflected in his day-to-day job as in Airmen. He represents all of the Air Force's core values positively on a daily basis."

The man in the truck passed away the next day due to his extensive injuries.