270th Employee rescues motorist

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

A 270th Air Traffic Controller potentially saved the life of an injured motorist on Oregon Highway 58, Jan. 19. Retired Senior Master Sgt. John Crowe, now a civilian air traffic controller, was driving home from the Portland Airport when he spotted an illuminated tail light on an obviously wrecked vehicle in the dark hours just before dawn.

"Since the tail light was on, I just felt it was responsibility to stop and check it out," he said. As he scrambled down a hill he could see someone remained in the car.

The driver was conscious but in obvious shock from his injuries.

"He asked me who I was and I said, 'my name is John, I'm here to help get you out of here,'" said Crowe.

After carefully checking the man for injuries he could tell that he suffered a broken femur and had a possible broken arm and multiple lacerations. Because the area was outside cell service he faced the dilemma of either moving the man to his vehicle or leaving him and calling paramedics. Because the temperature was well below freezing, he decided it was critical to get the man warm and to medical help as soon as possible and pulled him from the vehicle. He carried the man to his truck and drove until he could call paramedics.

At first he said he simply reacted to the situation using his Air Force training, but as he drove the man to safety he reflected on the situation and was extremely glad he had been in the right place at the right time.

"Because it was dark I could see the tail light and that was why I stopped, but after the sun came up he might have been in trouble," said Crowe, who is uncomfortable with the publicity he has received, but nonetheless happy he was able to help a person in need.

"I really think anyone would stop and help and that was all I was doing," he said. "Everyone I know would do the same thing."