A 21-year-old Navy airman died in a tragic accident Wednesday while attempting to help the victims of a crash involving a semi truck.
The accident happened on December 16th at around 6:08 p.m. in Charlotte County, Florida.
According to NBC 2, a car slammed into a tractor trailer on Interstate 75 near Kings Highway, sending the two vehicles skidding into a nearby guardrail. The force of the impact pinned the car between the big rig and the guardrail, seriously injuring the truck driver and trapping the motorist and their passenger inside of the car. That’s when young Navy airman Trevor Smith jumped into action.
Smith, who was traveling on the highway at the time of the wreck, quickly pulled over onto the shoulder and sprinted across lanes of traffic to reach the site of the crash. As he was attempting to assist the injured truck driver and motorists, an oncoming pickup drifted out of its lane and hit Smith, killing him instantly.
The truck driver was transported to the hospital with “traumatic” injuries, while the two motorists were extricated from their wrecked vehicle. The two motorists were also transported to the hospital, but the extent of their injuries is not clear.
The crash still remains under investigation, but those who knew and loved Smith have since gathered to honor his bravery, and impact on their lives.
“A lot of people would have kept driving or whatever, but that just wasn’t him,” said Chief Scott Williams, a naval science instructor at Charlotte High School, Smith’s alma mater.
“I’ve already heard from at least two dozen ex-cadets that are long gone from Charlotte High School who are just in shock.”
“A very selfless young man. I mean, he understood the whole thing about putting, you know, some things that are bigger than yourself above your own priorities from time to time,” Williams said to Wink News.
“He, obviously, just went to help out in any way that he can when he saw the opportunity,” said Smith’s long-time friend, David Yanni.