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Airmen’s heroism, quick-thinking saves two lives from fatal vehicle accident

Air Force Maj. Eric Mozeleski, an emergency medicine physician with the 88th Medical Group, and Capt. Carly Kerr, a critical care nurse with 88 MDG, talk outside the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Medical Center on March 31, 2021. Both Mozeleski and Kerr became first responders on March 23 when they attended to rollover auto accident victims as they commuted to work at Wright-Patt. Mozeleski and Kerr stabilized two victims and waited for emergency services to arrive. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

Air Force Maj. Eric Mozeleski, an emergency medicine physician with the 88th Medical Group, and Capt. Carly Kerr, a critical care nurse with 88 MDG, talk outside the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Medical Center on March 31, 2021. Both Mozeleski and Kerr became first responders on March 23 when they attended to rollover auto accident victims as they commuted to work at Wright-Patt. Mozeleski and Kerr stabilized two victims and waited for emergency services to arrive. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - On March 23, what could have been a dire situation ended in the saving of two lives—thanks to the valor and heroism of two 88th Medical Group Airmen.

That Tuesday morning, Capt. Carly Kerr, an intensive care unit nurse at Wright-Patterson Medical Center, was driving to base on her day off to assist with a vaccination pod when she witnessed a rollover-vehicle accident on Interstate 675 in Beavercreek.

As soon as Kerr arrived on scene, she realized there was a male still in the vehicle’s front-passenger side, while the female driver had been ejected from the vehicle with a potentially fatal leg injury.

“Once I saw that the driver had a very badly broken left leg, I initially asked if anyone around had some sort of tourniquet that could be used to control the bleeding,” Kerr said. “Nobody had anything to stop the bleeding. Luckily, I was wearing my uniform that day, so I used my belt as a tourniquet.

Kerr said once she assessed the driver to determine she was stable, she made her way to the passenger still inside the vehicle. She retrieved, a seatbelt cutter, knife and window hammer from her own toolkit.  

“There was one other passenger who was awake and crawling around in the vehicle,” Kerr recalled. “I cut one seatbelt so the passenger could crawl out. Once a few of us helped him out of the vehicle and I assessed him, I bandaged a gash in his right arm.”

Shortly after, Dr. (Maj.) Eric Mozeleski, a Wright-Patterson Medical Center emergency room physician, approached the scene to assist in stabilizing the driver and passenger.

“I first got to the female driver and initially assessed her to see if there were any other things bothering her besides her leg,” Mozeleski said. “Usually, individuals with that kind of injury tend to be close to hysterical, but I could tell that she was in shock due to her pale skin and weakened voice.” 

After he and Kerr stabilized both the passenger and driver, they waited for local emergency medical services to take the victims to Miami Valley Hospital, Mozeleski said.

Miami Valley Hospital has not provided any update on the crash victims, citing privacy concerns.  

Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said he could not help but feel proud of the courage, commitment and service of Mozeleski and Kerr for their quick thinking and action.

“I’m super proud of these Airmen,” Miller said. “This is a great example of character and competence colliding with random occurrence to make the extraordinary happen, the importance of being ready and the value of deliberate partnerships with our off-base teammates.”

Whether military or civilian, this act of community service epitomizes the values and characteristics all 88 ABW personnel must exemplify, the colonel added.

Miller recently updated the installation’s strategic plan, which includes new values and characteristics he expects of each Airmen on the installation.

“This is a perfect example of our Airmen here at the 88th Air Base Wing and the values and characteristics they embody,” Miller said. “Nobody ever wants these kind of accidents to happen, and I extend my commiseration to the victims and families who were involved. Those Airmen saw the situation and reacted without hesitancy, and this resulted in two lives saved so that those involved in the accident could go back home to their families.”