Kelly Winters, a senior nurse at Providence Hospital in the intensive care unit witnessed a massive collision involving ten vehicles along I-26 near St. Andrews. The accident happened when an 18 wheeler hit two vehicles. One was a Richland County Sheriff's vehicle. Both vehicles were forced into the concrete median.
Winters jumped out of his vehicle and ran to check on the drivers. He was helping the sheriff exit the wrecked vehicle when they heard a loud noise behind. It was a Mack truck, and it was heading straight for them. It was on fire with flames everywhere.
We briefly glanced at each other and said "Run. We ran like the devil was behind us.”
As we were running Winters heard a woman screaming for help from the tanker truck that was carrying approximately 8,500 gallons of gasoline.
“I turned around and started running back toward the tanker truck, and I can see it’s on its side,” Winters said. “There is someone standing in the truck with their head poking out of the passenger side window. It was a woman screaming for help.”
Winters and Baker attempted to help the woman by climbing onto the top of the truck and pulling her out. “I jumped off the top of the truck, dropped down to the windshield, kicked it about two or three times to dislodge it some more,” Winters said. “I was able to get my hands in and pull it back out and bent it in half, so there was a passageway through the windshield at the bottom.”
The flames were fierce and quickly became much too hot for Winters and the sheriff. They were forced to move back, but they urged and coaxed the woman to crawl up through the windshield to safety.
As soon as they reached a safe distance they heard several large explosions.
“We didn’t know what they were. Be it tires going off, gas tank, I didn’t care. I just wanted to get me, her and John away from that truck, and that’s exactly what we did,” Winters said.
The accident caused some major traffic delays that day, but thankfully there were no fatalities. Four people went to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Winter's assumed his wife would be furious at him for risking his life. But “She gave me a really big, long hug, and it really made the day,” Winters said.
“You do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it,” he said. “I would want someone to grab my wife out of the car. How could I not be there when somebody else needed it?”
Well done Kelly! The nursing community is proud of you!
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Picture above: Kelly WInters Source: