Volunteer firefighter reunited with man she saved from burning truck after accident
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, started off as just a normal day for DeAnna Robertson, a volunteer firefighter from Sikes, La.
Robertson was driving into work behind several tree-cutting vehicles when she saw a pickup truck heading in the opposite direction on the Pineville Expressway. That pickup truck, driven by David Harris, 70, of Pineville, collided head-on with the driver of one of the bucket trucks, immediately engulfing both into flames. Tragically, law enforcement reported that Harris was killed in the accident.
Without hesitation, Robertson’s heroic instincts kicked in. She got out of her vehicle, ran towards the fiery crash and pulled Alberto Bombardier out of the vehicle, ultimately saving his life.
“All I know is he had to get out,” said Robertson. “I remember grabbing onto the top of his shirt, and I guess it was through the window.”
Robertson said the gas tank was bent, causing the door to be lodged shut. She pulled Bombardier from the flaming vehicle and to safety where he was taken to a local hospital. However, Robertson said by the time she made it to the other vehicle involved in the crash with the fire extinguisher, it was too late as the flames completely surrounded the truck.
“It tears me up every day,” said Robertson. “I have nightmares of the other gentleman, and I wish that I could reach out to them and apologize to them. I’m glad we did save one life.”
At Tuesday’s Alexandria City Council meeting, Robertson was reunited with the man who now calls her a hero. Robertson and Bombardier shared an emotional moment together with a hug and tears being shed. Robertson said in what was the scariest moment of her life, she was thankful to be running late for work that day.
“I know that in my heart that I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Robertson. “I’m glad he’s alive. I’m glad I was there.”
Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall along with members of the Alexandria Fire Department and the president/CEO of ABC Professional Tree Services, the company Bombardier works for, praised Robertson for her heroism.
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