"He acted like a hero": Man credited for saving 2 from a burning armored truck after crash in Camden County

Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 4:00 PM CDT
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A stretch of J Road east of Macks Creek wasn't particularly notable to Kurtis Brown until two weeks ago. He was on his way back to work from a lunch break.

"A lady had stopped me, Brown recalled. "Her and her husband were stopped here in the middle of the road."

It didn't take long to see why he was being stopped.

He spotted an armored truck, crashed into a tree.

The driver and passenger were trapped.

The woman who stopped Brown was on the phone with 911, but there wasn't much time.

"We've got to do something now," Brown said, recalling seeing the crash.

The doors to the truck were jammed. Being an armored truck, the windows were too thick to break.

The engine was on fire.

"My heart sank," Brown said. "How am I going to help him?"

Brown ran back to his work truck.

"I grabbed my hammer, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and came back and just kinda started to help out," Brown said.

Wayne Powers was the driver of the truck. He said the road was wet, and the right side of his truck drifted over the side of the road. There's no shoulder, and the soft ground made it hard to keep control.

He said the truck was going about 25 miles per hour when it hit the tree.

He and his passenger tried to get out by kicking the door from the inside.

It wouldn't budge.

Brown used his hammer to pry it open from the outside."

"It was jammed, but I had to beat some of the metal in to be able to get in that gap to get the claw of the hammer in there," Brown said.

Brown got Powers and his passenger out of the truck just in time.

"I remember the flames being up around the top of the cab by the time we got them out," Brown recalled.

Brown works for Southwest Electric Cooperative. He thinks his training and skills for his job made the difference two weeks ago.

"It's just my instinct just to help," Brown said. "I was going to do what I was able to do."

Powers considers it far more remarkable than that.

"He acted like a hero does," Powers said. "I mean, he didn't take into account anything about his safety or his well being. He just came and reacted. I couldn't thank the guy enough."

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