Mount Airy man honored with 'Good Citizen Award'

April 13, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A 37-year-old Mount Airy man, who helped pull a motorist from his burning pickup after it collided with a jackknifed tractor-trailer in Taylorsville last month, was given a Maryland State Police "Good Citizen Award" at the Westminster barracks yesterday.

Thomas S. Humphries, who was driving behind Donald A. Nave when the crash occurred at Route 27 and Braddock Road, assisted in pulling the fatally injured driver from his vehicle and carrying him to a nearby field to await medical aid.

"Mr. Humphries' efforts epitomize the highest standard of civic involvement by risking his own life to save a fellow citizen. Therefore, as commander of the Westminster Barrack, I am privileged to acknowledge this meritorious action," Lt. Roy Neigh said in a ceremony in his office yesterday.

Mr. Humphries, who was taking his two sons, Sean, 9, and Erik, 11, to school March 25, said, "Thanks to that one gentleman who was there first to pull Mr. Nave out, for without him I could never have carried the injured man away from his burning truck."

Police have not been able to identify the second good citizen, who also helped the injured tractor-trailer driver out of his burning truck but left the scene before police arrived. Officials would like to identify the man and present him with a similar award, the lieutenant said.

He appeared embarrassed at receiving an award for doing what "anyone would have done." Mr. Humphries said he had been following Mr. Nave's pickup truck west on Braddock Road and noticed him looking at something on the seat beside him as he stopped for the stop sign at Route 27.

Mr. Humphries said he was looking to his left, checking for traffic coming over a slight rise, before he made the right turn on Ridge Road and when he looked straight ahead he saw the two trucks collide.

He said he jumped out of his own car and ran toward the pickup, then saw gasoline dripping on the road and the flames erupt.

"I thought of my sons in my car and ran to it to back it away, in case the truck exploded," he continued. "Then I ran back to get the unconscious driver out and saw the other man. Together we pulled him out and to the side."

Mr. Humphries said, "I wish he could have lived."

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