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Contractor Hauling CEMEX Cement Pulls Drowning Woman From Creek After Alabama Crash

Date published: August 21, 2017

Contractor Hauling CEMEX Cement Pulls Drowning Woman From Creek After Alabama Crash

The woman's submerged car is seen in the creek after the rescue.

DEMOPOLIS, Ala.—When Barry Williams got into his tanker and set out to pick up a load of cement at the CEMEX Demopolis Cement Plant on August 1, 2017, he had no idea he’d return home a hero.

But, thanks to his quick actions and commitment to safety, that’s exactly what happened.

Williams was headed down Highway 80 just a few miles outside of Demopolis when he witnessed a harrowing accident.

The collision caused a car to spin out and careen over a bridge barricade into a creek.

Contractor Hauling CEMEX Cement Pulls Drowning Woman From Creek After Alabama Crash

Barry Williams is recognized by Demopolis officials with a Key to the City and Medal of Valor.

Alarmed, Williams pulled over and ran to the bridge.

“At that point, I was trying to see if the driver was going to get out, but she wasn’t,” Williams said. “The only thing going through my mind was, ‘This woman is drowning. I could literally stand there and see her take her last breath.’”

He knew he didn’t have a lot of time. He threw his phone and wallet to the ground and climbed down the embankment into the creek.

“With the help and strength of God, I was able to climb down into the water. I had to pry the door open using my feet to push off the car,” he said. “Me and another passerby were trying to pull her out, but I realized she still had her seatbelt on. I had to go under the water to take it off, and then we were able to drag her to the bank and stay there with her until the rescuers got there.”

Contractor Hauling CEMEX Cement Pulls Drowning Woman From Creek After Alabama Crash

Barry Williams is recognized by Demopolis officials with a Key to the City and Medal of Valor.

Demopolis emergency officials who responded to the scene took the woman to the hospital. Williams said he went to visit her the following Saturday, and she was on the road to recovery.

“When you drive for a living, you are putting your life and the lives of others in your hands every day. That’s why driver safety training like the Smith System is so important,” Williams said. “That can be the difference between a safe day on the job and a potential tragedy. I’m just happy that I was able to help this time, and this woman can go on and live her life. I truly believe that God put me there that day.”

“We at CEMEX are duly impressed by the heroic and selfless actions Williams took,” said Matt Wild, CEMEX USA’s executive vice president of logistics.

On August 17, the Demopolis City Council and Demopolis Police Department recognized Williams’ heroic actions, gifting him a Key to the City and Medal of Valor.