Wednesday, July 24, 2013
You don’t have to look any farther than Bill Cross to find a real live hero.
The Cross resident was honored before Moncks Corner Town Council last week for his recent heroic acts in saving a life.
“I’ve known Bill since grammar school and it has come to my attention of a heroic act by Bill to save the life of a young man in a car accident,” said Moncks Corner Mayor Bill Peagler. “Bill’s selfless act of heroism put himself in harm’s way so that a young man’s life could be spared. No one more exemplifies the word ‘hero’ than Bill Cross.”
On June 21 at approximately 2:14 p.m., the Cross Rural Fire Department was called to an accident: a car was overturned with entrapment – and it was on fire.
“I was coming down the road and I couldn’t see anything but a cloud of dirt and dust,” Cross said. “When I came up on the accident site, I saw the engine compartment of the truck was on fire.”
Cross pulled between the overturned truck and a second vehicle involved in the accident and went to investigate.
“When I got there the victim was hanging out of the truck by his seatbelt,” Cross said. “He was unconscious but he had a pulse. I cut him out of the seatbelt and pulled him out through the windshield.”
A second individual arrived on the scene to help.
“We drug him across the road and at that time the whole car went up,” Cross said. “It exploded. The blast blew the back out of it … the tires and the shocks blew away from the heat.”
When CRFD Chief Clayton Cole arrived, the car was fully involved with fire.
“I was on my way home from Santee Cooper when I got the call about the accident,” Cole said. “I went straight to the station and then to the site of the accident. When I got there the car was fully engulfed in flames. We found the driver of the vehicle safely outside when we arrived on the scene.
Cross informed Cole that the patient had been trapped in the vehicle and non-responsive when he drove up on the wreck.
“Bill told me that the engine compartment was on fire and that he had gone inside the vehicle and cut the patient out of his seatbelt,” Cole said. “Then he pulled him through the front windshield to safety.”
According to Cole, the patient was transported to a landing zone at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church where he was flown to MUSC by a LifeNet Helicopter.
“The injuries sustained were some lacerations to the back of the head,” Cole said. “But had it not been for the heroic actions of Bill Cross he would have certainly died in the fire. What he did was amazing.”
The unidentified patient was released several days later from MUSC.
“Not everyone would have done what Mr. Cross did because so many people are afraid that they will be sued,” Cole said. “However, the Good Samaritan law covers everyday citizens that try to help those in need.”
Moncks Corner Town Council and the Cross Rural Fire Department presented Cross with plaques commemorating his heroic act.
Cross said it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
“He was very lucky,” he said. “I just hope somebody’s there if something happens to my family.”