Preston, Mo., firefighter released from hospital after scary rollover crash

Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT
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PRESTON, Mo. (KY3) - A Preston firefighter involved in a rollover crash responding to a call in early April is finally out of the hospital.

Preston Volunteer Fire Department Captain Jared Bennett said he is walking, talking, and breathing. Bennett suffered a collapsed lung. He said doctors had to put his chest back together.

More insult to injury, the department’s only fire engine was destroyed.

“I keep telling everybody I’m probably the luckiest person in the world,” said Bennett. “In that situation, I mean, that’s a one-in-a-million situation to come away from that.”

He used a chest tube in the hospital. He broke every rib except two. Bennett said he wanted to be back.

“Hoping to get back to fighting fires. I enjoy it,” said Bennett. “I enjoy helping people.”

In early April, Bennett and another firefighter John Sanchez were driving to a call when a car crossed the yellow line beside them. Bennett had to drive into the shoulder to avoid being hit by the car, recorrected, and eventually rolled over. Emergency crews airlifted both to Mercy. Sanchez suffered only minor injuries.

“The truck didn’t even want to move that direction, honestly,” said Bennett. “Then, once it did, it came out with a vengeance.”

Bennett said all they have is pieces of the truck left.

“I lost control,” said Bennett. “It kind of just went dark.”

Bennett said he forgives the people who left him and Sanchez lying in the roadway. He said he hoped they were going to get help.

“I can’t hold that against anybody because not everybody has that type of skill set,” said Bennett. “I mean, not everybody has done that before.”

Bennett said the support has been overwhelming.

“I’m just walking around and bopping and doing my own thing,” said Bennett. “I honestly feel like it’s all the support. I just feel so uplifted, and I feel I feel good.”

Their fire chief says hopefully, in early May, the department will get its new fire engine.

As for Bennett, he said he is on the long road to recovery. He said he appreciates all the support nationwide and wants to start helping people again.

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