"Roadside Angel" saves young woman on I-10

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "It was cold and I looked around and realized I was outside and looked over and saw my car and I instantly started to panic because I realized I had been in an accident and ejected from the car," told Ashlee Hughes as she sat on her family's couch.

In January, she was on her way home for the weekend from college and was in a terrible accident on Interstate 10 near Macclenny. Her injuries were severe and she couldn't move from the ditch.

"I was yelling for help and car just passed me by on I-10," she said.

As car after car passed and the hours ticked away, the thought crept in that she might die alone on the side of the road. This story could have a very different ending if it wasn't for Tommy Crews. A JTA worker on his way home after his shift.

"I said, I'm going to go look at that," explained Crews.

In the darkness he spotted what he thought was a car and circled back twice to check it out.

"I had a flash light and I shined it up there and I saw her lying in the ditch," told Crews.

Tommy was the miracle, Ashlee had been praying for.

"I know it is kind of cliché, but it seems kind of like where people say they were close to the light, but people were calling them back. It was almost kind of like that and I just suddenly woke up and decided to yell for help again and he was walking back to his car to get his phone and report me as dead," Ashlee said.

When Tommy heard Ashlee make a noise he rushed to her side and called 911.

"I held on to his leg, I remember his boots," said Ashlee with a smile.

He stayed with her until she was airlifted to UF Health Jacksonville and Ashlee's family was able to find him and the two were re-united at Brooks Rehab.

To Ashlee's parents, Tommy Crews is a roadside guardian angel.

"My daughter asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day and I said I have all my children here and they are alive, nothing else can ever compare to that," told Joni Hughes, Ashlee's mother.

After three months of rehab, Ashlee just started taking her first steps again.

Looking back on that day, Tommy Crews says there was just something inside of him that told him to stop and check out that car.

"I guess the good Lord just told me to turn around so that is what I did," he said.

"He gave me hope when he showed up, he gave me my life back basically," told Ashlee, "Because I truly believed that no one was going to find me that night."


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