A hero comes to the aid of another hero, during one of Monday's many car wrecks off a snow-covered highway. A soldier instinctively rushed to the side of a Henrico firefighter, after his SUV flipped several times off icy I-295 in Hanover County.
The Henrico firefighter was driving home from an overnight shift, according to fire officials. He flipped three times off the slippery highway, according to witnesses, after another driver attempted to pull into his lane.
Pastor Zachary Obey was driving alongside the firefighter, and says he watched the vehicle lose control.
"I immediately started praying," said Obey.
Perhaps it was divine intervention, or maybe just a fateful coincidence, that Virginia Army National Guardsman Johnathan Hoggatt was also on that same stretch of road.
Hoggatt witnessed the vehicle scarily overturn multiple times. He immediately pulled over, and grabbed a medical supplies bag, which he keeps in his car.
"Just preparing myself to know what to do once I actually got up to the vehicle," said Hoggatt, of the tense moments.
Obey also pulled over, dialing 911. Obey stood by as Hoggatt took every measure possible to care for the off-duty firefighter, who managed to maneuver himself out of the vehicle. The firefighter was lying on the side of upside-down car.
"The closer I got, I could see that (the soldier) was in action, almost like a super hero," described Obey.
"With the car flipping, I knew that (the victim's) head might impact the side window, definitely impact the airbag…" continued Hoggatt, as he recounted what was going through his head as he treated the firefighter.
Hoggatt checked the man's vital signs, affixed a brace, and covered him in a sleeping bag. Hoggatt and Virginia State troopers at the scene stayed with the victim- a paramedic himself- until the ambulance arrived.
Both men appreciated the other's sacrifice.
"He thanked me for my service, but I definitely want to thank him for his," said Hoggatt.
The firefighter was rushed to VCU Medical Center, and is recovering with minor injuries. His captain says he's very grateful for the soldier, and the other helpful passersby who came to his aid.
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