May 16, 2013

Man saves two in fiery crash

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The belief in helping others in need was the inspiration that Walter Trebow used to save two people who were involved in a fiery crash.

Trebow, who lives on McKnight Road, seven miles east of London, was reportedly outside in his yard around 1:30 p.m. Sunday when he heard a loud crash. Running down his driveway to the end of the road, he saw a car nose down in a ditch and flames coming from the vehicle.

While emergency personnel were on their way, Trebow checked the victims of the crash and found a woman, 34-year-old Crystal Roark of Manchester, in the passenger side. The woman reportedly was screaming that her leg was broken but the fire was getting bigger, so Trebow dragged the woman up the hill away from the vehicle.

On returning to the flaming Ford Explorer, Trebow again risked his own safety to remove the driver, 30-year-old Allen Wombles, and get away from the fire.

Trebow told WLEX-TV reporters he heard the gas tank hiss while he was removing Wombles from the vehicle and knew the danger of an explosion was imminent.

“I had to get that guy out of the car, get him to safety, so he wouldn’t die,” Trebow said.

Emergency workers arrived on the scene and both Wombles and Roark were taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for their injuries. Wombles was transported by medical helicopter and Roark was taken by ambulance.

While Trebow is being touted for possibly saving the lives of the two Manchester residents, the two are facing legal charges stemming from the accident investigation.

Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Parrott is continuing the investigation into the cause of the accident, in which Wombles is believed to have been driving too fast along Ky. 472. Wombles allegedly lost control of his Ford Explorer and ran off the road, striking a culvert and causing the vehicle to overturn. The impact caused the vehicle to erupt into flames.

Parrott’s investigation determined Wombles was driving under the influence, which was a factor in the crash. Wombles is now charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence,  his second such offense, and driving on a revoked operator's license. Roark is charged with alcohol intoxication.

But the legal troubles don’t end there. The discovery of suspected methamphetamine being found on both Wombles and Roark could result in additional charges.

Assisting at the scene were members of Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County, the London-Laurel County Rescue Squad, and the McWhorter Volunteer Fire Department.