Dental technician saves passenger from car crash

By Airman 1st Class Matt Porter | Joint Base MDL Public Affairs | Sept. 3, 2020

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — The U.S. Air Force holds “service before self” as one of its core values, and sometimes that service can mean saving a life. For Senior Airman Cori Sherman of the 87th Dental Squadron on Joint Base MDL, “service before self” led to the rescue of an incapacitated passenger from a car accident near Sailor’s Pond, N.J. on Aug. 14, 2020.

“I was leaving work out of 68 Gate and witnessed a car make a U-turn in front of me,” said Sherman. “They didn’t look before they turned because they did so -into an oncoming vehicle. The impact from the collision was very intense”.

As the first person onto the scene, Sherman rendered aid to the drivers and passenger of the two vehicles involved.

“The oncoming driver immediately left their car and sat on the side of the road. At this point, I checked on the other car and noticed the passenger was incapacitated,” said Sherman. “The driver was yelling at the passenger to wake up and was unable to pull her out of her seat.”

With the sound of first responders blaring in the background, Sherman decided to take the matter of extracting the passenger into her own hands.

“I couldn’t get the seat belt to release the passenger, so she was trapped in her seat,” said Sherman. “Luckily, I had a knife on me at the time and I was able to cut the strap and pull her out as she regained consciousness.”

Once first responders arrived, Sherman was then able to give a statement to authorities and leave.

“In reality everything happened so fast, but it felt much longer as it was happening,” said Sherman. “I’m glad I was able to help get the passenger out of the car because there could have been a fire or an explosion before first responders arrived.”

Neither of the drivers or passenger sustained serious injury as a result of the collision.

“Sherman is amazing and has always shown initiative,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Stephanie Shump, 87th Medical Group executive. “I’m not surprised at all by her actions in response to witnessing someone in need.”