Airman, Soldier act as first responders to car accident
By Airman Ashley Williams, 121st Air Refueling Wing
/ Published June 29, 2015
Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio -- On June 6, 2015, around 6:30 a.m., Airman 1st Class Joseph T. Nenadich, with the 121st Security Forces Squadron and Sgt. 1st Class Moore, were on their way to drill when they noticed a vehicle swerve in and out of traffic and then go off the road into a ditch. That's when they took action.
"As members of the military, you should never take your training for granted because you never know when you may need it," said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Moore, an observer controller with the 3rd Battalion, 338th Regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade.
Nenadich, a 21-year-old from Youngstown, Ohio, joined the Air National Guard in 2013.
"As soon as I saw the car go off the road, I knew I had to do something," said Nenadich. "I immediately crossed over four lanes of traffic and pulled over."
"I was just on my way to drill," said Moore. "It never dawned on me that something like this would happen right in front of me. When you're overseas, you're prepared for it. You expect it. You're not really looking for it when you're just driving to work."
When the two got down to the ditch, they noticed the car had landed upside down with the driver's side submerged in water.
"I thought someone was going to be seriously injured. I've never seen someone go off the road at that rate of speed," said Moore.
Inside the vehicle there was a baby in a car seat, a child about 8-years-old, a teenage girl and a woman.
"The way the car landed, it was halfway up a barbed wire fence," said Nenadich. "To get the woman out, we had to lift her over the fence so her legs wouldn't get torn up. It was a difficult task, but it worked out and we were able to help her over the hill."
The two worked together and had everyone out of the vehicle and safely out of the way by the time help arrived.
"The situation couldn't have gone better," said Moore. "I was very fortunate to have the Airman right there beside me. It really helped de-stress the situation. There is a certain comradery in the military. My instincts kicked in and I knew I had someone there to trust."
With the training and experience gained from their service, the two were able to jump into action without thought.
"Doing some of the things I've done with this unit definitely gave me the mindset that I could help them out," said Nenadich. "It felt really good. I felt like we did the right thing."