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NEWS | Aug. 15, 2019

Oklahoma Airman saves woman from wrecked vehicle

By Master Sgt. Craig Michael 138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard

TULSA, Okla. – If someone looks up the definition of hero in the dictionary, there are several explanations, such as a legendary figure with great strength or ability, a principal character in a story, play, film or a person noted for courageous acts.

Master Sgt. John Lawrence of the 138th Fighter Wing exemplifies the latter, by reacting to a single-vehicle accident in which a vehicle appeared to have struck a bridge guard rail.

On a frigid commute to work the morning of Feb. 19, Lawrence approached a vehicle resting sideways on its passenger side door in a deep ditch. The airbags had deployed. Lawrence rushed to the vehicle, discovering a woman within, shaken from the sudden impact.

Bracing himself on the wrecked vehicle, Lawrence reached down and pulled the woman out of the upright driver side door.

Lawrence hurried the woman to his vehicle, keeping her warm until paramedics arrived. She showed no outward signs of injury.

“Sometimes you have to weigh what’s important at the time by putting yourself out there to help somebody else,” said Lawrence.

Several hours later at work, Lawrence’s cell phone began pinging with messages from family and friends about a recent post on social media about the accident that morning. Baffled by the onslaught of questions, Lawrence viewed a post going viral with over 900 likes in a matter of hours, thanking him for his courageous acts.

“I thought it was really nice that the woman’s husband was trying to reach out and say thank you,” said Lawrence. “Making an impact on their family and not even meaning too.”

Master Sgt. Lawrence is the supervisor for the 138th Fighter Wing, Aircrew Flight Equipment shop specializing in systems safety technologies, helping protect aircrew during flight and in the event of emergency situations.

“I wanted to help, not be a hero, but to react,” said Lawrence.