"Hero" visits accident victim in hospital - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"Hero" visits accident victim in hospital

By  David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It was an amazing rescue, that saved the life of a Rankin County resident. Last week, Andrew Johnson of Morton was pulled from his burning truck after he was involved in a head-on collision.

Now the man who rescued him is being praised as a hero, and the Johnson family is sharing their gratitude.

Johnson is still hospitalized at University Medical Center listed in serious condition. He is surrounded by his family and is now receiving even more support from his newly found guardian angel.

Jerome Thomas spent the day after Christmas visiting the man he pulled from this burning truck last Wednesday. Thomas now being called a hero for saving Johnson's life. It was an emotional reunion.

Thomas says, "I said anybody with the Andrew Johnson family. He said well I'm his brother, walked up to me and just gave me a big hug, grabbed me and hugged me. They thanked me and said we are forever grateful you was there to help my brother out of the truck, his fiance came in emotional, more big hugs."

Eyewitnesses say Johnson was pulled from the truck without a second to spare. The flames were quickly enclosing him in the cab, right next to the gas tank. That's when Jerome Thomas amazingly bent the metal trapping him inside, and pulled him through a back window to safety.

"I knew him somewhat going to school, knew him from around town, just an all around good guy, he was a big strong guy in the right place at the right time," says Scott County Deputy Marcus Lingle.

Thomas was unable to talk to Johnson in the hospital. He remains unconscious with brain injuries, a punctured lung, a broken collar bone, fractured chest, broken spine, and numerous breaks in the bones in his legs, but he still has his life. Something many credit to Thomas's heroic actions.

"I'm not a hero," says Thomas.  "All the men overseas, men and women overseas, those are heroes. I was just there to help someone out."

The family of Andrew Johnson released this statement to WLBT: 

The family of Andrew Johnson would like to publicly express their sincere appreciation to Mr. Jerome Thomas for his heroic efforts in saving their loved one and not giving up. The family has met Mr. Thomas and thanked him personally for his kindness. They have taken pictures with him. Continued prayers are appreciated on behalf of Mr. Andrew Johnson. His injuries include brain damage, punctured lung, broke collar bone, whole chest is fractured, spine is fractured in three places, spine is broken in one place, pelvis bone is broken, right leg is broken, right ankle and heel are broken and left foot is broken. He is still in SICU but very slowly getting better. Again all prayers are welcome and thank you.

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