Two Gaston men look to thank those who helped rescue them from a - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Two Gaston men look to thank those who helped rescue them from accident

The remains of the Dodge Intrepid. The remains of the Dodge Intrepid.
GASTON, SC (WIS) -

John Wertz and Jeffrey Vazquez say what is left of their car following an accident on Highway 321 in April could actually be the poster child for Dodge.

Thanks to a number of people who stopped to rescue them, Wertz and Vazquez can say thankfully say they survived.

"You know," Wertz said, "you don't expect your life to change at 8:30 on a Thursday night just because you went out to dinner."

The two men were heading back to their Gaston home that night when a driver, who troopers say was traveling on the wrong side of the road, barreled into their Dodge Intrepid head on.

"I can remember the thought of, 'This is it,' going through my mind and actually feeling surprised when I felt the car coming to a stop in the grass," Wertz said.

Troopers said the man who caused the wreck died on the scene as his Buick went up in flames.

"I managed to get myself out of the vehicle," Wertz said, "but with both legs broken, that was all I could do. I fell face down."

Wertz said he and Vazquez would have burned up, too, but both owe their lives to the ordinary, everyday people who stopped to help.

"I remember laying there," Wertz recalled. "One man was throwing dirt on the fire while four people were working on getting him out."

Neither remembers when emergency crews got there. When the first responders reached the scene, both were flown to the hospital with too many severe injuries to even list.

"It was two weeks after when I finally woke up and realized that I was in the hospital," Vazquez said.

After being in the hospital for two months and medical bills approaching two million dollars, the two are back home in Gaston adjusting to a new life in wheelchairs.

"Even now," Wertz said, "it doesn't really feel like home because everything's had to be moved because of the wheelchairs. We're not able to sleep in our own beds. We have hospital beds."

Wertz and Vazquez aren't looking for handouts or even sympathy. They simply want to put names with the faces and know who exactly stopped to help.

"I want to thank them," Wertz said, "because, like I said before, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the people that were coming down the road and saw the accident and stopped. You know, they're the reason we're here."

The only problem is they're not quite sure exactly who stopped to help and that was their inspiration for telling their story.

They want to personally thank those heroes.

If you stopped to help or know someone else who did, contact the WIS Newsroom at (803) 758-1261 or e-mail Chad Mills.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention

    Meet the student whose picture walking to graduation gained nationwide attention

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:09 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:09:14 GMT
    (Source: WBRC Video)(Source: WBRC Video)

    A picture is worth a thousand word, but one picture captured by a MAX bus driver captured tells a story of determination.

    More >>

    A picture is worth a thousand word, but one picture captured by a MAX bus driver captured tells a story of determination.

    More >>
  • Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

    Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:52 PM EDT2018-05-24 21:52:19 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:16 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:16:13 GMT
    A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)A woman says her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

    Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.

    More >>

    Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.

    More >>
  • Netflix: What's coming and going in June

    Netflix: What's coming and going in June

    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:30 PM EDT2018-05-24 22:30:57 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:30 PM EDT2018-05-24 22:30:57 GMT

    Marvel titles "Thor: Ragnarok," the fifth season of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the second season of "Luke Cage" all arrive this month.

    More >>

    Marvel titles "Thor: Ragnarok," the fifth season of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the second season of "Luke Cage" all arrive this month.

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Decision time in Ireland as voters decide on abortion law

    Decision time in Ireland as voters decide on abortion law

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:37 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:37:57 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:22:51 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:37 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:37:26 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>
  • Explosion in Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Explosion in Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:42 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:42:29 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 8:37 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:37:10 GMT
    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly