Firefighter springs into action after encountering accident

Thursday, December 1, 2005

When Jeffrey Reid, owner of Trailer Connections came upon Wednesday afternoon's fatal crash scene he knew he had to stop.

As a firefighter with the Carrollton Fire Department's Bosworth station, Reid has had 16 hours of training dealing with traffic crashes.

"You're never prepared for something like that, but I do know what to do," he said.

Reid said Eugene Burns, 53, the driver of the tractor-trailer that overturned on U.S. Highway 65 at Route N, had been ejected in the crash and was pinned beneath the rig where he soon died.

Reid and another passerby, a trained emergency medical technician, then turned their attention to Adriane S. Velasquez, 34, who was trapped inside the vehicle. Because she was being overcome by diesel fumes, Reid said the first thing he had to do was calm her down and get her to control her breathing.

"I told her God is with us, and she said 'I know,'" said Reid, who is also a minister.

After the arrival of Marshall firefighters and area emergency medical personnel, Reid stepped back and let them go to work. He said they extricated Velasquez in 20 minutes, something of a miracle considering the condition of the truck.

"I'd say the Marshall Fire Department did an extremely good job," Reid said. "They deserve to be commended."

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