NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville pilot volunteering in Ukraine was able to render aid to injured civilians after an attack.
We first introduced NewsChannel 5 viewers to Chris Tiller when he was collecting trauma kits and supplies in Nashville to bring to Ukraine.
With donations pouring in, volunteer drivers have been needed to transport aid across the country.
"In one case, we were the first international aid effort that could come there,” Tiller said.
He got a van to help with delivery efforts.
"And the mayor said, 'there’s no jobs, there’s no food, like we really are just struggling to get by,' and when we showed up they had like four sacks of potatoes and a couple of loose pasta, and some canned meat, and we brought them, I think, 10,000 pounds of food," Tiller said.
But during a pit stop in Kharkiv, their journey took a dangerous turn.
“We were standing up inside, trying to pay for the meal, and the coffee shop directly outside the door of the restaurant that we were sitting in got a direct hit," said Tiller.
It was a Russian rocket attack.
"We ran out and the first thing that we saw after we got past the coffee shop that was on fire was an elderly man laying on the pavement in the middle of the sidewalk, and his arm right below here had been completely blown off," Tiller said.
There were casualties, but Chris and other volunteers used tourniquets to help the wounded.
"Those guys absolutely saved two lives," Tiller said.
His van was damaged by shrapnel, so he's waiting to get it repaired. In the meantime, he's processing what happened.
"It's really, really changed my perspective on what freedom means," Tiller said.