A Hinesville man was saved from serious injury following a single-car wreck in Liberty County the morning of Aug. 24. The car caught fire and three men stopped to help.
According to Liberty County Fire Chief Brian Darby, Brandon Long, Ron Sluder, and one other unidentified man are credited with saving the driver from the burning car by performing a rescue maneuver. Had it not been for the quick response performed by Long, Darby said, the driver would have died. The driver has been identified by Georgia State Patrol Trooper Adam Massey, as Deondre Shuman, 26 of Hinesville.
Massey said the accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. on Highway 196, not far from Pender Lane in Liberty County. Shuman was traveling westbound when he crossed into the eastbound lane, leaving the road, knocking down a fence and stopping after striking a tree head-on causing the car to catch on fire, he said.
Long told the Courier he was heading to work and drove up on the accident. He immediately decided to assist the driver. Long and Sluder had trouble opening the car doors, because the accident had caused damage, effectively jamming them. They attempted to pull Shuman out of the car without success.
Long said the three of them continued to pull on him but were unable to remove him from the car. A fire under the hood began to spread and smoke began to fill the cabin of the car.
“I have no idea what was holding him inside the car, so I went to the passenger’s side to see if we could free him from there,” Long said. “When that didn't work we went back to the driver’s side and were able to pull him out by his legs. While this was going on I was afraid the car was going to explode.”
The men were able to drag Shuman away from the car before it became engulfed in flames.
“I just want to say had it not been for the quick reaction of these brave men we may have had a different outcome,” Darby said. “On behalf of Liberty County, I want to thank them as well as the other motorists who called 911.”