A-JCHS student honored for life-saving actions
A Union County high school student has been honored for actions he took which saved the life of a Texas man.
Kyle McMahan, 16, of Anna, was presented with a Life Saving Award during a ceremony which was held Jan. 17 at the Union County Sheriff’s Office in Jonesboro.
The award was presented by Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel. McMahan, who is a junior at Anna-Jonesboro Community High School, was honored by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police.
The award declared that McMahan was honored: “In Recognition of Your Actions that Resulted in a Life Saving Event that Occurred on December 20, 2017. Your Quick Thinking in Calling 911 and Staying with the Victim Until Help Arrived Went Above and Beyond the Maturity of a 16-Year-Old and Speaks Volumes to Your Character.”
Harvel said that the honor was the first of its kind that he has presented while serving as Union County sheriff.
Those in attendance at the ceremony included McMahan, members of his family, the Union County sheriff, Illinois State Police and other emergency services personnel.
McMahan was credited with taking life-saving action after stopped at the scene of an accident which was reported at about 10 p.m. on Dec. 20 along Interstate 57 east of Anna.
Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel said that McMahan had driven by the scene of the accident, saw what had happened, turned around and went back. The sheriff said that McMahan’s quick thinking and response most likely were life-saving actions.
“I think it’s great to see that we have caring people in our community,” Harvel said.
McMahan admitted to being a bit nervous about the attention he was receiving and was modest in explaining the steps he took to help the man.
“It was what you need to do,” he told those in attendance at the Jan. 17 ceremony. “It should be in your make-up.”
“It shouldn’t take too much to help somebody,” he added. “I’m just glad he’s OK,” he said about the driver.
A Union County Sheriff’s Office incident report detailed what happened on that cold December night.
On Dec. 20, at approximately 10:10 p.m., a 911 call came to the sheriff’s office in Jonesboro “stating that a vehicle was off of the interstate in a wooded area.”
Upon arrival at exit 30 along I-57, the report stated that vehicle lights could be seen in the wooded area between the off ramp and the interstate.
The sheriff’s office’s responding officer “met with a young man named Kyle McMahan. Kyle called in the vehicle and began giving (the responding officer) the information that he gathered. Kyle stated that he did not see the incident happen, he was just driving by and (had) seen the lights in the woods.”
The responding officer observed “a truck in the woods, and the driver pinned in the truck by his head. The rest of his body was outside of the vehicle.”
Medical and rescue emergency services personnel had been notified about the incident and were en route to the scene.
“The driver was talking and begging for someone to remove the truck,” the incident report continued.
The responding officer informed the driver that help was on the way and a few more people were needed “to get the truck off of him.”
Once more emergency services personnel arrived at the scene, the driver, a 71-year-old man from Longview, Texas, was removed from the vehicle.
After the driver had been moved to an ambulance, he explained what had happened.
The driver stated that he had stopped on the side of the interstate ramp to refuel his truck.
“His truck began to roll and he attempted to stop it. He stated that his pants were loose and fell down his legs, tripping him, and he began to get dragged.”
The driver was transported to Union County Hospital in Anna. From there, he transferred by Air Evac helicopter to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Union County Rescue and the Union County Ambulance Service responded to the call.
During last week’s ceremony, the sheriff said that he had been trying to contact the Texas man who was involved the accident, but was not able to do so.