Joint Base Andrews


Andrews Airman helps save father, son

By Senior Airman Adrianne L. Wilson | 89th Airlift Wing Public Affairs | August 22, 2006

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- An Airman with the 89th Airlift Wing's dental squadron here helped rescue a father and son involved in a recent accident in nearby Waldorf.

Master Sgt. David Klink, the squadron's superintendent, was waiting in his vehicle at a stoplight at a T-intersection when he witnessed a truck barreling through the intersection on two tires after its brakes failed. The truck crashed into two buildings and landed on its driver's side.

Sergeant Klink drove to the accident site where he and his friend were the first people on scene to help. The truck was still running and there was diesel fuel and white steam coming out of it.

"We looked in the tinted window of the truck and saw someone move," Sergeant Klink said. "My friend boosted me up and I dropped in through the passenger window. Just as we were about to get out of the truck, we heard a kid start crying."

When the truck crashed, the boy flew out of the seat because he was not in a child seat, fire department officials later told Sergeant Klink.

"(The boy) was all the way in the back under tarps and toys and things," Sergeant Klink said. "There was no way we could see him, but we could hear him scream. The dad was coming to, so the dad and I started to look for the boy. The dad was not all the way with it yet, so the dad handed him to me. I know from experience that his neck could be hurt, so I supported him on my chest."

Sergeant Klink got out of the vehicle with the boy. Even though the truck was mangled, the father was not seriously injured, Sergeant Klink said. The only visible injury the 3-year-old had was his six top front teeth broken into pieces and shards.

While the boy was lying on the ground, Sergeant Klink used a T-shirt to stop the bleeding.

When the ambulance arrived, two emergency medical technicians switched the T-shirt in the boy's mouth to a wet gauze, Sergeant Klink said.

"I gave (the EMT) all the medical information I knew, we took his vitals, and we transferred him to a backboard," he said. "When I got to the ambulance, (the EMT) asked if I wanted to go with her because her co-worker was still tending to the father."

Because of his Air Force medical training, Sergeant Klink said he knew what to do and did not panic.

"I got to do some medical stuff that I never thought I would do because I make teeth," the sergeant said. "I use torches and grinders and things like that. It came really natural, I had eight or 10 people standing there (who) didn't know what to do, and I was able to help.

"I'm really far down on the medical totem pole, but it still came really naturally" he said.

After the boy was taken by helicopter to a children's hospital in Washington, D.C., the EMT assured Sergeant Klink that father and son were in good condition.