Homeless Navy veteran rescues driver after Pembroke Pines crash

Travis Wilson's military instinct kicked in, says he felt compelled to help

By Paradise Afshar - Digital Editor , Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A homeless man, who said he is a Navy veteran, helped rescue a driver after a crash Thursday afternoon in Pembroke Pines.

Travis Wilson said he was a U.S. Navy corpsman, serving in the early 1990s. When he heard the crash about rush hour, he said his military instinct kicked in and felt was compelled to help.

According to Pembroke Pines police, the driver of a white Chevrolet Cavalier attempted to turn at the intersection in the 200 block of Douglas Road when it collided with a Dodge Charger.

The driver of the Charger is an off-duty Florida Department of Law Enforcement officer, the agency confirmed to Local 10 News.

Wilson was applying for housing with an organization called Operation Sacred Trust.

As he was interviewing in a pavilion outside the organization's office, he heard a loud bang.

"In a split second, he said, 'I think, you know, somebody may need help,'" Seth Eisenberg, with Operation Sacred Trust, said.

Wilson ran to the scene, about a block away.

"I just turned it on and go sprinting to the vehicle," WIlson said.

Cellphone video captured Wilson reaching into the white Chevrolet and stabilizing the driver's head.

"It's like putting a neck collar on them to stop them from moving their neck," Wilson said. "This is instinct."

Wilson stayed at the scene until paramedics arrived.

"I can't leave the scene. It doesn't matter if that vehicle catches on fire. It doesn't matter. I'm there with him," Wilson said. "If we're going to die, we're going to die together."

Police said the driver was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The FDLE officer suffered minor injuries.

Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.