Joint Base Charleston

News Search

437th AMXS Sergeant Saves Neighbor

By Airman 1st Class Thomas T. Charlton | 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs | August 19, 2015

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- July 20, 2015, at about 4 p.m. on Highway 61 in Charleston, SC, there was a serious motorcycle accident; the motorcyclist suffering severe injuries.

Johnny Bland, a civilian in the local Charleston community, age 64, clipped the back end of a truck causing the crash leaving him with severe cuts on his wrist as well as a couple of broken bones.

Staff Sgt. Marcus Williams, a hydraulic craftsman with the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was driving home, saw the accident and instantly sprang into action.

"I had been on day shift that day, which wasn't normal. It was only due to the fact that I had classes that authorized me to go on day shift that day," Williams said, "I was on my way home and I take Highway 61 every day. I was starting to approach the Edisto River Bridge when I noticed there was a truck stopped in the other lane. On the right, near the end of the bridge, there was a motorcycle. I slowed down out of courtesy and noticed there was a person under the motorcycle. I parked my car in the ditch and almost got hit by a car getting trying to reach the victim. I got to him and could see he was pale and was having difficulty talking. Seeing blood, I looked around and saw another man on the phone. I asked him if he was on the phone with 911. He was. I told him to come to me so I could give him the information to relay to emergency operator. Noticing that Mr. Bland was missing his shoes, I found one, undid the shoelace and used it as tourniquet. After controlling the blood flow, I asked a nearby woman to go to my truck and to get my lunch box. There were water bottles inside. She also brought me a clean towel. After bundling up the towel to stabilize his neck and to keep his spinal cord straight, I used the bottle of water to rest on the back of his neck because I noticed it was swelling. When the paramedics arrived, we got him on a flat board, put him on the gurney with a neck brace and strapped him down. We put him into the ambulance and straight to the hospital."

Currently, Bland is still recovering. Thanks to Williams, not only was Bland able to keep his hand, he still has feeling and can still use it.

Tamera Bland, Bland's wife, as well as several other members of Bland's family couldn't thank Williams enough.

Tamera Bland said "Johnny and his family are so grateful for SSgt. Marcus Williams' help. He saved Johnny's life and hand. Johnny underwent surgery to his wrist and has feeling in his hand and fingers. "

When MSgt. Jason Decker, the 437th AMXS hydraulic element chief, heard what had transpired, he was astounded.

"I couldn't believe it, I had to ask him if it really happened, but it comes to no surprise to me, really. Sgt. Williams is a go getter. If I need something done he is always there with a great attitude and never says no. SSgt. Williams won the Griffin of the Month award, but we are trying to submit him for an honorary medal." Decker said.
Williams said that he was glad he was  there for Bland that day and to be there for the family in their time of need.

"If there was one thing I could say to the family, I would have to say thank you for your kindness and kind words," said Williams, "I am honored to have been there for him and I am thankful to have gained a brother."

Staying Connected