KNOXVILLE (WATE)– A group of Carson-Newman students is being called heroes by the Jefferson City Police Department credited with likely saving two officers lives.
The officers were responding to a disturbance call on West Ellis Street. A car at the location drove away, speeding through an intersection and hitting JCPD officer Scott Winstead’s patrol car.
A Carson-Newman security guard, Lucas Trent, was also in the Winstead’s patrol car.
Senior Davis Vincent was one of the first at the scene. He said he was in his apartment, just a few feet away from the crash, when he heard it and went outside.
“At that point, you really realize it can be as serious as it is, it just helps with a person in need. So.. we just did that,” said Vincent.
He said he was one of three or four students, all strangers before this night, that worked to free both officers from the car.
Vincent said they were in “bad shape” and together, the group tried to open the doors. The driver’s side was unable to be opened, so they moved to the passenger side — freeing Trent to safety until paramedics arrived.
Vincent says the engine caught on fire, at that point, they started calling for a fire extinguisher.
“Once we were able to extinguish the fire, we were able to take it a little more slowly, be a little more cautious, and let the paramedics do their job,” said Vincent.
Vincent says he wants others to remember the good work that officers like Winstead and Trent do every day. Even though he didn’t expect to save lives, he said anyone in his place wouldn’t have hesitated either.
“It’s not something that you want to see, but you know, stuff like that does happen in the world. You can’t be ignorant to that fact,” said Vincent.
The family of Lucas Trent confirmed to WATE 6 On Your Side that he was released from the hospital Sunday and is recovering at home.
Trent’s mother, Trisha Lucas, says their family is grateful for the support and prayers from the community.
We are all thankful he is still with us and grateful to everyone on scene and here at the hospital for taking care of him. -Trisha Lucas
Sgt. Winstead is still receiving treatment at UT Medical Center. Winstead personally confirmed that he will be having hip surgery and will remain in the hospital for a few more days.
I would like to thank the thousands of people that showed their concern for me due to the car crash… tell everyone that has checked on me that it has not [gone] unnoticed.” -Sgt. Scott Winstead “
Winstead said he intends to thank the students who pulled him out of the car, thanking them face-to-face.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate.