Two hero firefighters in Jeanerette rush wife of crash victim to hospital in personal vehicle


JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY) Two volunteer firefighters from the Jeanerette and St. Mary Parish District 11 fire station are being hailed as heroes today after they rushed a woman to a Lafayette hospital to be by her husband’s bedside.

Around 8 p.m. Friday, firefighters Sherry Landry and LeTroy Johnson responded to a report of a vehicle crash on Highway 318 in Iberia Parish.

Fire Chief Clarence Clark said for unknown reasons, a car driven by 62 year old Ernest Dugas of Jeanerette flipped several times and landed in a grassy area.

Clark said the driver was traveling alone in the vehicle when the crash happened.

Alcohol has been ruled out as a factor in the crash.

He said when firefighters arrived at the scene, they found Dugas unresponsive, pulled him from the vehicle, performed CPR and was able to regain a pulse.

Dugas was initially transported to Iberia Medical Center but due to his injuries, had to be airlifted to a Lafayette hospital.

Clark said after notifying the family about the crash, the victims wife had to walk to the scene of the crash from her home.

Sadly, when she arrived, Clark said he had to advise that her husband had been transported to a hospital 30 miles away in Lafayette.

When Landry and Johnson learned that there was no family members available to transport the victims wife to the Lafayette hospital, and knowing that a taxi ride would be to expensive, they decided to take matters into their own hands.

According to Clark, they both looked at each other and almost on cue said they wanted to drive her to the hospital in their personal vehicles.

“They followed protocol by parking their fire engine vehicles, getting into their personal vehicle and driving the civilian to the hospital to be at her husband’s side.”

Jeanerette Police Chief Jeff Matthews heard about the kind gesture and released the following statement:

“This is nothing new to me as a city official.  On numerous occasions these two volunteers have gone above and beyond the scope of their duties. I have personally witnessed the dedication and love they have for the department and the community.  I have seen their frustation when they couldn’t get the chance to make their community great.  I have seen the smiles of joy when they have completed the task successfully.  When it comes to doing their jobs and serving their community. the word no is not in their vocabulary.  Even after working all day at their regular jobs, you’ll see them on just about every fire/rescue call in the community. My appreciation for having them in our community is immeasurable.”

Dugas remains in a Lafayette hospital in moderate but stable condition.  The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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