One of the EMTs injured in Tuesday’s night’s accident involving an ambulance and a pickup has been released from a Lincoln hospital.
Forty-six-year-old James "Beau" Flint was hurt when the ambulance and pickup collided head-on along Highway 34 near Weeping Water around 10:20 p.m.
The other EMT, Melissa Hanes, remains in fair condition. Her father, 51-year-old Bob Hanes, who was driving the ambulance, and the pickup driver, William Whitlatch Jr. were killed. The patient traveling in the ambulance, Luther Gunnels, had non-life threatening injuries.
It's a memory that brings tears to Ron McCown's eyes. "The worst thing of my life was that man in the rescue squad saying please don't let me die."
Driving back from Lincoln, McCown was one of the first on scene of the fatal accident. "I saw an ambulance coming over the hill, I pulled over to the shoulder started slowing down. The next thing I know I saw the ambulance turn sideways, lights go up in the air of the truck, the nose of the truck went down in the ground."
The ambulance had been struck by an oncoming truck that crossed the yellow line. As a retired EMT, McCown jumped right into action. "There was two people laying on the ground outside the ambulance, there was a lady inside the ambulance, she was hollering." That lady was Melissa, who told McCown to go to her father.
That is when McCown would hear some of the last words of Robert Hanes Sr. "He goes my legs are on fire, my legs are on fire, please help me. And I said take slow breathes, take it easy, be careful. He said please don't let me die, I said, we will do the best we can."
"It took approximately 50 to 70 rescue workers two hours to disentangle Bob from the ambulance," said Mark Bonser.
McCown said he doesn't feel like a hero, but knows who should be commended. "The real hero of this story is the woman that was following the truck, she was on the phone with 911 saying you got to come get this guy off the road while she was on the phone with 911, she goes, oh my God, he just hit the ambulance."