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FIRST ON 3: Good samaritan comforts victim of crash that closed I-40

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Emergency workers had to use the jaws of life today to pry a woman from her car. The crash in Pender County closed down I-40 this afternoon for almost an hour near mile marker 401, but a good samaritan showed up just in time to help save the day.

The collision between a car and a truck flipped the car from the westbound lanes. Eli Downey drove up right after it happened.

"There was only maybe three cars that stopped. Everyone else just went around and went about their business, so I just pulled over, came back and come to find out there's still a woman lodged in the car," Downey said.

Downey was relieved to find both victims awake and responsive.

When he arrived, the woman's car was on its side. He broke through her windshield and held her head up until help arrived.

"I just hope someone would do the same for me if it happened to me," Downey said.

EMS and firefighters had to cut both victims out of their vehicles. They were both taken from the scene on stretchers. A helicopter took the woman to the hospital.

Downey, an Army recruiter, says although it was a tough situation, he was just doing the right thing.

"We just need more good samaritans," Downey said.

There's no word yet on the names of the victims involved in the accident or their condition. Highway Patrol has not yet returned our calls.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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I am glad that my friend is ok She has a long road ahead, but I am glad she is alive.

WOW, So unbelieveable to see

WOW, So unbelieveable to see my son in action. The Army has a great soldier, and I have a great son. Very proud of you Sgt. Downey!

I am pleased he stopped to

I am pleased he stopped to help, however, I happened on this accident very shortly after it had occured and before the emergency services had arrived and there were many cars and trucks stopped on both sides of the road that were helping. People had opened the mini-van door and others were putting out markers to direct traffic, and trying to clear the high way of the trailer and debris. If any more of us had stopped we would have just been in the way and possibly caused more accidents. I did not "just drive by and go on with my business". It was an awful accident and I have been thinking about all those involved. I am glad they are recovering.

Proud of our Military

What an awesome exhibit of a True American Soldier!! I am so very proud...and I pray that those involved are ok...

That woman is my sister.

That woman is my sister. Thank you Mr. Downey as without your help, compassion and heroism, she may not have survived. We are forever grateful.

Need contact of Eli Downey

My wife was the one you helped in the accident. I was currently in Afghanistan when I received the red cross message. I read the arrival that a military member was on scene to help as a first responder. Once I was available I got on a plane as soon as the military could get me on. We wanted to extend out deepest thanks and was wondering if you could take the time to personally come down for us to to thank you. It would mean much more to see you in person. Thank you from one service member to another. Semper fi!