FREEPORT — An Alabama woman is alive thanks to the quick actions of good Samaritans who helped save her life over the weekend.
Just after 10 a.m. Saturday, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a motor vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 331 South and Wagon Wheel Road in Freeport. Walton County Fire Rescue firefighters and paramedics were dispatched and arrived on scene within minutes to find bystanders performing CPR on the 62-year-old woman, who was lying unconscious next to a vehicle. The victim had gone into cardiac arrest while driving home from the beach and crashed into a culvert on the side of the highway.
Witnesses say they saw the car run off the road and immediately stopped to assist. When they realized the driver was unconscious in the vehicle, they broke the window, pulled the victim out of the car and immediately began performing CPR. The woman’s son-in-law, a professional firefighter/paramedic with Decatur (Alabama) Fire and Rescue, arrived shortly after and began assisting with CPR efforts.
Once on scene, Walton County Fire Rescue paramedics began performing advanced life-support efforts on the victim who began to regain consciousness on the way to the hospital.
“The bystanders are the true heroes here,” Fire Chief Russell Beaty said in the press release. “Their quick thinking and brave actions, along with the firefighters and paramedics life-saving efforts, saved this woman’s life.”
The victim was further stabilized by staff at a nearby hospital before being airlifted to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where she is currently being treated.
WCSO spokeswoman Lindsay Batchelor said the woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the car accident, including lacerations to her face and a partially collapsed left lung. However, Batchelor said she is now "awake and alert."