Soldiers rescue family after vehicle accident
January 3, 2013
BAUMHOLDER, Germany (Jan. 3, 2013) -- An early morning drive to Baumholder quickly turned into a nightmare recently for Heather Majorwitz and her two children, Kaitie and Bret.
They were on their way to school when the car hit a patch of ice and started to skid across the road toward an oncoming bus. Majorwitz swerved to avoid the bus and slid off the road, rolling the car.
"One minute we were on the road and the next we were hanging from our seatbelts," said Majorwitz.
The car wheels were still turning when four Soldiers from the 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion came upon the scene. Without hesitation and not knowing who was in the car, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Vladimir Sequera and three other Soldiers stopped their Humvee and dashed out to help. The children were already making their way out of the shattered back window when the Soldiers approached the vehicle.
Sequera and the other Soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Winston Smith, Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Lehman and Sgt. Cheryl Henneberry quickly brought the children to safety and wrapped them with their jackets so they could stay warm. By then Majorwitz was making her way out of the car so Sequera and the other Soldiers turned their attention to helping her.
"When we saw the vehicle we immediately pulled our vehicle to the side. We all had the same thought. There's somebody in the vehicle," said Sequera. "We didn't know if they were American or German. We just wanted to help so it only took us an instant to stop," he said.
"I just remember the car rolling and lots of glass," said Majorwitz. I felt blessed to walk away from the wreck, but I also felt really blessed that we had Soldiers there that would go above and beyond and help us. You guys are my heroes," she said.
"I'm glad that we were there to help out. I don't think it's a hero thing. I think it's a human behavior that we help each other out. It's part of what we do in the military," said Sequera.
Madeleine Dwoiakowski, public affairs officer for the USAG Baumholder, drives the same route on her way to work. When she approached the site she saw numerous first responders already assisting.
"I saw Soldiers and hoped that none of our guys were injured, not knowing that the Soldiers were actually assisting on the scene," said Dwoiakowski. "I then saw the car and it looked like it had gone through a press. They were extremely fortunately to walk away from there with no injuries and they were also equally fortunate that the Soldiers were there almost immediately to help."
For Majorwitz it was the scariest moment she's experienced as a mother.
"I wasn't sure if the children were OK. Everybody said they were OK, but even at the hospital I wasn't sure. My little boy gets anxious about things and I was worried that he'd have this anxiety and wouldn't want to ride in a car again," she said, recalling that they had a flat tire once and for the next year her son checked the tires before getting in the car.
"But he was fine, he was a trooper," said Majorwitz. Turning to Sequera she added, "I think he was fine because you guys were there immediately. There wasn't that second to even worry about it because we were taken care of right away."
Later on the day of the accident, Majorwitz, who is the librarian at Smith Elementary School, called her 15-year-old daughter in the states and told her, "this is why I do what I do to serve these guys, because they're there and they step in no matter what. It's automatic because that's who they are. This makes me even more proud to be able to teach the kids of our Soldiers, because I know that they're out there taking care of everybody else."
Fighting back tears Majorwitz turned to the Soldiers who rescued her and her children and said, "I think that's why you all are in the Army and you're Soldiers. We could have died but we didn't. We were very fortunate all around so I just want to thank you."
Majorwitz then embraced Sequera and repeated her appreciation for their help, "You guys are my heroes."