HEMSI paramedic breaks window, pulls driver from fiery wreck

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Paramedics, by trade, are selfless people. One HEMSI paramedic went above the call of duty Thursday night after noticing a wrecked truck on fire.

The single-vehicle wreck happened on Highway 72 East near Shields Road around 5:00. A pickup truck ran off the highway into the treeline. The impact of the collision caused the truck to catch fire.

The driver of a passing HEMSI ambulance, Adam Goode, saw the truck on fire, pulled over and jumped out while his partner continued patient care inside the unit.

When Goode got to the smoking vehicle "His foot was still on the accelerator and had burned off the rear tire and the breaks had caught fire and spread to the surrounding area including the truck," said Goode. "By the time I got to the truck with the fire extinguisher, it was too much."

He saw someone inside the vehicle so he busted out the window, opened the door, cut the seat belt and pulled the man out.

"By the time I got him out the truck was fully involved," said Goode.

Even with a patient in the back Goode says not stopping was never an option. Goode walked away with only a few scratches. With the help of off-duty firefighter Scotty Campbell, they supplied the driver with CPR.

Paramedics rushed the driver of the truck to the hospital. The driver, identified as Jerry Newman was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Westbound Highway 72 East was down to one lane for more than an hour while police investigated the crash.

Goode had to be treated for cuts to his arm and smoke inhalation.

Family members of Jerry Newman contacted WHNT News 19 on Friday morning asking for help in contacting the men who had tried to save Newman.

"Even though he didn't make it, we`re very thankful to the people that stopped to help him, because we have a body to bury and he was unharmed," says Twanica Browning, Newman's Cousin.

Lots of tears were shed as Twanica met Goode for the first time. "Everybody should know who they are. They should be an example to everyone. And my life is better for getting to meet him."