Wright-Patterson AFB Airmen deliver timely assistance to drivers after serious car crash

Special Agent Brad Byington, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and Capt. Hayley Byington, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Wright-Patterson Medical Center recently help save the lives of car crash survivors. Photo by Brian Brackens

Special Agent Brad Byington, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and Capt. Hayley Byington, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Wright-Patterson Medical Center recently provided timely assistance to drivers who were involved in a serious motor-vehicle accident. One vehicle exploded just after SA Byington extracted the injured driver.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- Special Agent Brad Byington, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 1 Field Investigations Region was at the right place at the right time during a recent drive to work.

During his commute, Byington witnessed a car crash in which a small vehicle was "t-boned" by a large SUV traveling 60 mph.

Acting quickly, Byington raced to the driver of the smaller vehicle assessed her injuries and proceeded to organize the emergency response to the accident.

"I'm talking to the driver, I could tell that she was in poor condition," said Byington. "She seemed out of it, she couldn't put a sentence together, she had blood on her arms, legs and face. In addition, the engine was in the dashboard, where the radio should be. The gas petal was depressed; the tires were spinning and there was a fire under the engine."

With the assistance of Major Dan Pizzino, an Air Force flight doctor, who was driving along the same road and stopped to assist, Byington was able to get the driver out of the car. Seconds later the car exploded.

While waiting for emergency responders to arrive, Byington noticed his wife Captain Hayley Byington, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center, in a line of traffic and called her over to assist.

Capt. Byington was able to do a quick medical assessment of the drivers of both vehicles.

"I'm part of the field treatment team here which does triage for mass casualties so I've practiced for these scenarios," said Capt. Byington. "In this case, if we had arrived 30 seconds later, the driver of the smaller vehicle would have been in the car when it exploded and I don't know what her outcome might have been - what I do know is that her life would have significantly changed."

Special Agent Byington credits his quick response to experience in law enforcement, training in combat care and the confidence of knowing that he could make a difference.

"In many horrific events such as this one, most people are unable or unwilling to respond, but I knew that I could do something and that's why I acted," he said.

According to Capt. Byington, being prepared could save someone's life.

"People should ask themselves, what can I bring to the fight?" She said. "What can I do to help out and what skills do I have that could help save someone's life?"