Louisiana TV news crew saves pregnant woman from burning car

TV news crew saves woman from burning car

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. -- A Louisiana news photographer and reporter are making headlines for rescuing a pregnant woman from a burning car.

WBRZ photographer Patrick Perry and reporter Brittany Weiss came upon an accident where a woman had lost control of her vehicle and crashed.

According to Perry, a good Samaritan stopped and was calling 911 when they pulled up to the scene. They told him there was someone in the vehicle which was engulfed in flames.

"Being a journalist, we always put people first, the story always comes second," Perry said.
He and Weiss immediately went into action.

"I went to the car and couldn't see anybody, I was calling "Is there anybody in the car?" and finally this young lady said "I'm over here, I'm over here."

Perry said he was able to reach into the car to pull her out, but what he saw gave him pause.

"I saw that she had blood on one side of her face, so I knew she had some type of head injury, so I tried to keep her spine as straight as I could. I picked her up and I walked out there and laid her down and kept her neck still until the paramedics got there."

Perry said keeping someone's neck straight, when they have sustained a head injury, is something he learned on the job after being a journalist for over 20 years.

"You go to plenty of car accidents and you watch the paramedics. The first thing they always do -- they always put a collar or they grab your head. When she said she was seven-and-a half-months pregnant I automatically said, "Well I gotta protect her and the baby."

Perry said he spoke with the victim's fiancé, who was gracious and thanked him for saving is family.

Perry won't take all of the credit. He said that the Livingston Parish deputy on scene moved his patrol vehicle to shield Perry and the victim from the increasing heat of the flames and any potential debris from the burning car.

"We [journalists] have a unique job that a lot of people don't have the chance to get to do. We all want the story but we're human beings first, so if anything tragic is going to happen, we're going to make sure we take care of the people before we get the story. That's always been my motto, people first, story second."

Giving back to the community is important to Perry. He says during the recent floods in Louisiana, his news manager and general manager encouraged them to go out and help during the crisis. He encourages the communities being affected by Hermine to help out those around them as well.

"Always help out your fellow man. It'd be a better country if we all do that."


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