Deputy Pulls Victim From Burning Truck After Crash
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A member of the Davidson County Sheriff's Department is being called a hero after she rescued a victim from a burning vehicle.
Warrant Officer and 16 year veteran of the department, Mary Thomas, said as soon as she saw the crash she jumped to the rescue.
"I could hear a man saying 'help me! Help me! I am on fire.' I ran over to him. I went to pull him out, but he was stuck in his seatbelt. I got my knife cut the seatbelt and pulled him out."
The incident happened just before 11:15 a.m. on Hobson Pike in Antioch. The fiery crash involved multiple vehicles and blocked traffic for several hours. Adding to the danger, the crash was located just a few feet from a gas main.
"Once I started cutting his seat belt, I saw black smoke," said Thomas, "We got out and about 10 or 15 seconds later there was a pop and the rest of the truck was on fire."
Thomas was treated and released from Meharry General Hospital with minor injuries after the rescue.
The man she saved, Joshua Smith, was transferred to Vanderbilt Medical Center but is expected to make a full recovery. Thomas said she had never experienced anything like this before.
"The fire marshall stopped and asked my name. He said if I hadn't have cut him out, he might not have made it. I was just doing my job."
Thomas was already scheduled to receive the DCSO's "Ambassador of the Year" award for demonstrating great service to the Nashville community. Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said now her latest heroics will be featured in the ceremony.
"We could not be more proud of Officer Thomas and her heroics today and are extremely pleased she wasn't seriously injured. She gave of herself to help a fellow citizen, but for those of us who know her, that isn't very surprising," Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said.
Thomas will receive her award at the Trevecca Community Church Family Life Center, Mar. 29 at 7:30 p.m.