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Witnesses to wreck help rescue trapped Huntsville firefighter

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Witnesses to a traffic accident rushed to lift a sport utility vehicle off a Huntsville firefighter, who was trapped and had quit breathing.

Firefighter Matt Hill came out of the close call with only a chipped ankle, said Jay Gates, spokesman for Huntsville Fire and Rescue.

Gates said rescue workers had been called to help with a medical emergency in a bank parking lot Sunday afternoon when another vehicle driven by an elderly woman started pulling away from an automatic teller machine. The woman hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and struck three firefighters.

Two of them, Tally Fanning and Art Taylor, suffered minor injuries, but Hill was pinned under the woman’s SUV on a slope.

People rushed from nearby businesses to help firefighters lift the SUV off Hill.

“The guy was not breathing. They resuscitated him and he got to breathing on his own,” Gates said.

James Walker ran from his job at a nearby Krystal to help Hill. “He was unconscious at the time,” Walker said.

Tim Green said he and several other employees ran across the street from Bill Heard Chevrolet to help.

“We grabbed hold of the truck and we picked it up so they could get him out from under it so it wouldn’t kill him,” Green said.

Gates said the accident could have been tragic if witnesses had not helped. Instead, all three firefighters were treated at Huntsville Hospital and released.

No charges will be filed against the SUV drive, Gates said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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