Off-duty Airman responds to accident, assists injured

  • Published
  • By Lori A. Bultman
  • Twenty-Fifth Air Force Public Affairs

When Staff Sgt. Daniel Pierce left his San Antonio home March 2, 2019, headed for Round Rock, he did not have plans beyond reaching his final destination. But when he saw a serious collision while passing through Austin, he did not hesitate to assist.  

“My wife and I saw a pickup truck lose control on southbound IH-35 close to Slaughter Lane in Austin; we were headed northbound to Round Rock. The pickup truck collided with the outer barrier and crossed the southbound lanes before it hit an SUV,” Pierce said. 

The combat operations mission supervisor with the 625th Operations Center immediately pulled over to assess and assist in the situation, while his wife called emergency services. 

“I was able to get the driver out and have him lie on the ground away from the smoking vehicle,” he said. 

He then doubled back and assisted the passenger out of the vehicle. 

“I went back to the driver and placed my hands and arms on his neck to stabilize it to help prevent any possible further injury,” Pierce said. “One of the other people who stopped to help was a trained first responder and had C-collars (cervical collars) with him. After he put the C-collar on the driver, I continued to stay with him and hold his head until EMTs arrived. I asked my wife for a blanket to help keep him warm, since it was a cold day.” 

Once Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived on the scene, Pierce gave them as much information as he could to assist them in assuming care of the patient. He then went to the driver’s vehicle to retrieve his cell phone so the victim could call his family. 

Scott Anderson, an Austin-Travis County EMS paramedic/clinical specialist who was in the first ambulance to arrive at the accident scene, was appreciative of the assistance rendered by Pierce. 

“Both patients had been removed from the vehicle and taken over to a safe location to lie flat in a shock position,” which Anderson said was ideal in this situation. His ambulance transported the two gentlemen to the hospital where it was determined both had sustained significant injuries. 

“It was quite a busy incident, but I can confidently say that all the people, including Pierce, on scene prior to our arrival were beneficial in the continued care and outcome of the injured,” Anderson said, sending  his thanks and appreciation to Pierce for making a difference. 

Upon hearing about the incident, Pierce’s leadership also praised his actions. 

“I am inspired by Staff Sgt. Pierce’s selfless willingness to help someone in need. His actions are an example of our core value to place service before self,” said Chief Master Sgt. Summer Leifer, Twenty-Fifth Air Force command chief. 

“In the hustle of everyday life, good people sometimes miss opportunities to help one another because they assume someone else will take care of it,” she said. “Staff Sgt. Pierce showed through his actions that he understands - if not you, then who?  If not now, then when? I am proud to serve with Staff Sgt. Pierce and all Airmen who take every opportunity to stand up and take action to help and support others.”