MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — David Ussery works at the Milledgeville Fire Department as a Battalion Chief, but even off the clock, he says he is always on duty.
"This is our nature and the way we're trained to help if something goes wrong," says Ussery.
On his family's Sunday morning drive to church, they happened to be running 10 minutes late.
Ussery passed through the I-16/I-75 interchange, when he saw a car bumper on the side of the road and smoke rising off the bridge.
"We didn't really know what was going on, so I got out because the firefighter in me just wanting to see if I can help," says Ussery.
Ussery saw Alyssa Jackson's car on fire below the bridge and climbed down to help.
"I held onto shrubbery and trees and got down there and looked inside the passenger side of the car, and there was who we found out later was Ms. Alyssa," says Ussery.
Ussery and a few other stopped drivers used whatever tools they had to control the fire and get Jackson out.
"People were stopping and throwing water down to me, just something to try and put that fire out, because she was minutes -- I mean, literally, minutes -- from burning," says Ussery.
Ussery says they worked tirelessly to pry their way to Jackson, until the doors finally burst open.
He says it was a blessing that they got her out before first responders arrived.
"God came on the scene and opened those doors, and we were able to drag her out on the passenger side. If we had not been there, them two guys and myself, this woman would've burned to death," says Ussery.
He stayed with Jackson until the ambulance and fire trucks got there.
"I can only think that that's my wife, or daughter, or my mom, in that car. I'd want someone to stop first for them, and that being in the fire service, it's the way we think,"
Ussery says he hopes he can go check on Jackson soon to see how she is doing.
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