Soldier Helps Rescue Driver After Wreck - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/08/06

Soldier Helps Rescue Driver After Wreck

Shawn Dantzler, in the yellow shirt, helped rescue the driver. Shawn Dantzler, in the yellow shirt, helped rescue the driver.

Just back from Iraq, where danger is everywhere, a soldier found himself in another dangerous situation right here at home. Around 12:30pm this afternoon, Shawn Dantzler saw a vehicle lose control on Highway 204 in Chatham County and head for the marsh.

Police say Gary Farrand was driving his pickup truck when something went terribly wrong. The truck ran off the highway, ending up stuck in the mud. Dantzler and his brother came to the rescue.

Looks like Dantzler's training for dangerous situations in Iraq was put to the test. Dantzler spent the last year in a war zone and just got back last night. So when he saw the pickup go off the road, he knew just what to do.

What he did was jump out of his car and run down the embankment. "I went down there to make sure, and then when I saw he was in the creek, I was at least glad he's not underwater," he told us.

Not underwater, but stuck in the mud and possibly hurt, so Dantzler ran through the mud and did what he could until paramedics arrived. "My main concern was to make sure he was okay," Dantzler said. "Once he was okay, I wanted to keep him talking."

While Dantzler was talking to him, his brother Kyle called 911. "I was sprinting, thinking he was sinking, and if he was unconscious," Kyle told us. "We were running as fast as we could."

Shawn is glad he and his brother were was in the right place at the right time. "You've heard stories, but never think it will happen to you. But I wasn't worried about me, I was making sure he was okay."

An unexpected action-packed day for a soldier who just got back from Iraq. "My brother comes back home last night and helping somebody out of the ditch in the morning," said Kyle.

Police say Gary Farrand, the driver of the truck, got sick and lost control of the pickup. He was conscious at the scene and was talking to paramedics.

They took him St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment. Right now, Farrand is in stable condition.

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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