Trooper helps save blind man

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

One family says they are grateful for the actions of a state trooper and a neighbor who helped rescue a blind man from drowning after a car accident.

However, they were unable to save the car's driver.

Family members say Allen Puckett and Carter Creed Caldwell were on their way from Shillalah to Middlesboro to pick up a pizza.

Police say the two were heading west on Highway 217 when his wheels dropped off the pavement into a ditch.

The car hit the rock wall, and you can still see the skid marks where the vehicle drove across both lanes. The car then rolled down a hill into a creek 40 feet below.

"I said I had just left his house, it can't be him. It's devastating when the information came in and it was him," said Carson Keith, Puckett's father-in-law.

Trooper Brian Greene and neighbor Doug Hoskins heard the crash, and rushed to help.

Police say they could hear Puckett screaming from the car, where he was trapped. Hoskins then had an idea.

"He went and got a tractor, at which time they hooked a chain to it, pulled it up just enough that the passenger was able to breathe," said KSP Lt. PJ Burnett.

Once the Bell County Rescue Squad arrived, crews pulled Puckett out of the car and sent him to the hospital.

Caldwell, one of his best friends, was dead.

"He didn't really talk about it, but I'm sure he was scared out of his wits. He was devastated I'm sure," said Keith.

Puckett was treated and released that same day, and his family says they are thankful for the quick actions of Greene and Hoskins.

The funeral for Caldwell will be at Shumate Funeral Home in Middlesboro on Wednesday at 7:00. He was 35 years old.

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