A Fort Bragg soldier will receive the Army’s highest award for heroism outside of combat on Monday.
Staff Sgt. Adams, who is assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, has been awarded the Soldier’s Medal for saving the lives of two people involved in a deadly crash near Asheboro in October 2016.
Adams is not being identified by his first name because of the nature of his job as a Special Forces soldier. He will be honored during a ceremony on Fort Bragg.
According to a citation for the Soldier’s Medal, Adams distinguished himself by disregarding his own safety to save lives.
Officials said Adams was traveling east on U.S. 64 near Asheboro when he witnessed a vehicle with two women and two children travel off the road and down a hill, hitting several trees.
“Without hesitation, Staff Sgt. Adams immediately stopped his vehicle and rushed 75 yards down a steep embankment to the scene of the accident to render aid,” according to an official Army account of the rescue.
In spite of excessive smoke, Adams was able to free two of the victims and carry them to the side of the highway where he began lifesaving medical care. Once the two were stable, Adams returned to the vehicle to retrieve a third victim.
“Unsure if the vehicle smoke would eventually turn into a vehicle fire, he repeatedly risked his life in order to attempt to save the lives of others,” officials said.
Adams also remained on the scene to assist emergency and rescue workers.
“Because of his quick thinking, courage and selfless action, Staff Sgt. Adams is personally responsible for saving the lives of two of the vehicle casualties,” officials said.
According to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune, the single-vehicle wreck occurred about 4 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2016. The newspaper said a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper reported that Lillie Mingin, 33, of Lexington, was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado when the vehicle ran off the road, went into a ditch and then down the embankment.
One passenger, 26-year-old Brittany Goodman of Salisbury, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
A child, 12-year-old Colby Springle of Angier, was trapped in the vehicle and died shortly after being extracted.
Springle was the son of Mingin, who was saved alongside another of her sons, 7-year-old Eric Mason Mingin of Fuquay-Varina.
Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3567.
© 2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
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