Coast Guard members rescue man from car accident in Seattle

SEATTLE – Three Coast Guard members rescued a man from a car collision while on duty Friday.

Petty Officer First Class Erik White, a machinery technician, Petty Officer First Class William Collins, a boatswain’s mate, and Petty Officer First Class Joseph Walp, an electrician’s mate, responded to the collision. They are stationed at U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Seattle (91101).

The three members were returning to Coast Guard Base Seattle after their lunch break when they saw dark smoke. The crew parked to investigate. Two cars had collided and one of the cars turned over in the collision. White, Collins, and Walp assisted emergency services in recovering the individual in the turned over vehicle.

During the rescue, White climbed onto the vehicle and used a hammer to break the window.

“After arriving on scene, we knew it was bad and immediately jumped into action,” said White. “I quickly assessed how to free the trapped passenger and planned how to get him out safely and quickly. After we got him out and to safety, it was clear he needed medical attention. We conducted first aid and monitored him until emergency services arrived.”

Collins and Walp assisted White in pulling the individual out of the vehicle and transferring him to emergency medical services.

“When we smelled the fuel and saw it leaking onto the hot exhaust system, we knew we needed to act quickly. I jumped up on the van and helped Erick pull the guy from his van and got him off and to the side as fast as we could. I was terrified that if I didn’t act that something bad would happen to the trapped passenger, we had to get him out and to safety,” said Collins.

Walp also assessed the situation to make sure everyone on scene was safe.

“I checked the other vehicle for passengers and cleared away the bystanders. The hazardous cargo in the van and the leaking fuel could have created a much bigger accident and injured a lot more people making it crucial that they stay back,” said Walp.

“Coast Guardsman possess an innate, unwavering drive to rescue and protect those in need,” said Lt. Karrie A Jeffries, the executive officer of MSST Seattle. “Their commitment to saving the individual exemplify the highest standards of integrity and selflessness. I’m proud of my team and they absolutely embody our core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty.”

The Coast Guard trains to respond to dangerous situations, to aid those in need and protect people in any emergency. These Coast Guardsmen are commended for their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty and being first responders on and off the clock.

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