Lone Georgia Deputy Rescues Eight Trapped Victims After Crash With Semi-Truck

Holly Matkin

Whitfield County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Giles pulled eight people to safety as gasoline poured down on top of them.

Monroe County, GA – A Whitfield County Sheriff’s deputy singlehandedly helped save the lives of eight people after a semi-truck jackknifed and swept multiple vehicles down a steep embankment.

The crash occurred on Interstate 475 northbound near Dixie Highway/Georgia 19 on Dec. 13, WMAZ reported.

A Georgia State Patrol (GSP) trooper was handling several collisions on Interstate 75 Northbound, which caused traffic to come to a standstill.

The semi-truck driver was unable to stop in time, so he veered to the left in an attempt to avoid slamming into the gridlock, crashing into two vehicles in the process, WMAZ reported.

The 18-wheeler and the other two vehicles all broke through a guardrail and tumbled down a steep embankment.

Whitfield County Deputy Shawn Giles and Deputy Andy Center were transporting an inmate from Turner County to Whitfield County when the crash occurred right in front of them.

“The cars rolled about three times” before one came to rest on top of the other, Deputy Giles told WTVC.

The bottom vehicle had a family of seven inside, and a girl was trapped inside the second car.

“I’ve worked traffic most of my career, almost 20 years, and I’ve seen a lot of accidents, a lot of fatalities, and I really thought somebody was dead,” Deputy Giles told WTVC.

Deputy Center remained in the patrol vehicle to monitor the inmate while Deputy Giles ran down the embankment to check on the victims.

The top vehicle was smoking, and fuel was leaking everywhere.

Deputy Giles crawled through the busted-out windshield and began pulling victims to safety.

“[The] mom is just screaming, and I remember saying, ‘I got you. We got everything. Just relax, go easy. Just take a deep breath. We got it’ in a calm voice to her,” he said.

“I got in the bottom car first because there was kids in there,” Deputy Giles explained. “I got half of the family out, and gas was just pouring in on top of us.”

The veteran deputy was terrified, but knew he had to do whatever he could to rescue the trapped victims.

“That was the first time I’ve had to go ‘Do I want to die today because this could be a good chance,’” he recalled. “That was a scary moment, probably one of the only times I’ve had to check myself, but I just told myself to get back there and get these kids out.”

He turned his attention to two young girls who were screaming in the wreckage of the bottom car.

“They were…screaming, ‘please help, please help, please help me.’ They were about 11 or 12,” Deputy Giles said.

The deputy said he was determined to stay focused despite the chaos going on around him, WTVC reported.

“Mom and Dad screaming and yelling. Dad’s brother was in a car in front of them, so he and his wife had stopped and were out there screaming and yelling because of the baby trapped inside. Everybody’s cut, everybody’s hurt, it was mass hysteria for about 20 minutes,” Deputy Giles recalled.

Once the girls were safe, the deputy fought desperately to free a girl who was going in and out of consciousness inside the top car.

“I told her, ‘girl, you gonna have to help me because it’s just me and you,’” Deputy Giles told WTVC. “The car was stuck up on an angle, and it was awkward getting her out. I’m standing on top of the one on the bottom, trying to get her out the driver’s side. She was crawling out, and she finally got enough gumption to help me get her out of the car.”

He then took off his coat and wrapped the girl in it to protect her from the rain while emergency medical personnel responded.

“It was pouring rain,” Deputy Giles explained. “It was freezing…she was starting to go into shock.”

The deputy rescued a total of eight people that day, WTVC reported.

Seven victims were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to WMAZ.

“After all these years, reacting to stuff like that, you just go to work,” Deputy Giles said of his actions. “I know I’d want somebody to get my babies out.”

“The Good Lord put me in the right place at the right time on that one,” he added.

Comments (29)
No. 1-22
JBoH
JBoH

Hero. Big time. Saving lives and that's what it's about!

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

"The 18-wheeler and the other two vehicles all broke through a guardrail and tumbled down a steep embankment."

That trucker needs his CDL revoked.

Semi truckers sit up high enough to see trouble far ahead.

Not only did he slam into two cars, but with enough impact to push 2 cars in front of him through a guardrail, along with his own rig. There are two simple rules of driving that all trucker adhere to. Don't overdrive your visibility (ability to stop) or drive too fast for conditions.

Fyrfighter0301
Fyrfighter0301

Great job Deputy Giles!! Thank you for risking your life to save these people!!
As a former firefighter/paramedic, I too have been terrified risking my life but I have never regretted taking any one of those risks. Nor will you sir.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Good Job Deputy Giles

Sargejh
Sargejh

Wow!

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Excellent work Deputy Giles!

Milocd
Milocd

Kudos to Deputy Gyles! He should receive the metal of Honor! Awesome job.

Carolinny
Carolinny

Real-life drama gave me chills. Thank you, Officer Giles, for putting your own life in danger to help others live theirs.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Thank you Deputy Giles!!! You are a hero!!

Codeten7
Codeten7

Deputy Giles..I thank you for putting your life at risk to save others. You are indeed one of the brave heroes of the LEO family. May God bless you always and keep you safe. BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD. #BlueLivesMatter #BackTheBlue

LEO0301
LEO0301

This is a truly remarkable story. This officer is the epitome of a true hero.

Hi_estCommieDenom
Hi_estCommieDenom

Hero!! God bless the Blue! 🇺🇸

186
186

10 bucks says, you won't find this article in any of the major newspapers

TXbird-mom
TXbird-mom

Way to go, Deputy Giles!

Cemike
Cemike

Thank-you Sir, you are a credit to your community! May our Lord Bless you and yours!

Bonneville Kid
Bonneville Kid

Well done! I think I see eight life saving medals headed his way!

61mouse
61mouse

Oh ya seen this on CNN ......NOT !!!!!!

Kevcali
Kevcali

I'd say this guy deserves the Medal of Freedom just a bit more than Limbaugh

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

God bless you Sir..

JDub
JDub

Another deputy and I were trying to free a drunk trapped in his wrecked car. He was lying in gasoline, we were standing in it. He kept cursing us and threatening us. My partner grinned at me and winked, "Hey, I need a cigarette, you got a light?"

Shoken7373
Shoken7373

HERO

Ritamarie
Ritamarie

You are a hero, thank you!


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