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Soldier saves two people after vehicle hits tree in S.C.

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Sgt. 1st Class John Jackson, U.S. Army Central, was first on scene this morning, when a sewage truck hit a tree on U.S. Hwy. 378 in S.C.

Jackson stopped his vehicle to provide first aid to both the driver and passenger of the truck. But when he smelled fuel and saw smoke and sparks, he knew the best course of action was to remove both of the injured from their rig immediately.

Jackson, an infantryman and former Special Operations medic told authorities:

“I had seen these injuries before. I had treated these injuries before – amputations, decapitations, fractures – I have seen about every flavor of trauma you can imagine,”

Having been on four tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, it came naturally for Jackson to take command of the crash site, giving instructions to civilians and another Soldier, Sgt. Maj. Jess Todd, who stopped to assist.

It took Sumter County Emergency Medical Services less than 15 minutes to respond to the scene.

Battalion Chief Brian L. Christmas, Sumter County Fire Department credits SFC Jackson’s actions with saving the life of the passenger, whose right leg was traumatically amputated below the knee in the crash. He was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia.

The accident is under investigation.

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