Unsung Hero: Eagle Scout pulls driver from 18-wheeler’s wreckage

KLTV 7 News in Waco, Texas

The programs of the Boy Scouts of America are designed to help young men and women Be Prepared to help other people at all times.

Because the fact of the matter is, you just never know when someone is going to need your help.

For Rylan Bradfield, an Eagle Scout of Troop 128 in Huntington, Texas, that moment came on an otherwise ordinary Thursday morning when he was driving to pick up his girlfriend. Ahead of him, an 18-wheeler carrying wood chips rounded a turn and briefly went out of Rylan’s sight.

There was no sign of anything amiss, until Rylan saw a cloud of dust rise out of the trees. At that point, he knew something had gone wrong.

“When I made the turn, I saw the 18-wheeler overturned, and my first instinct was to get him out,” Rylan told KLTV 7 News at 10 in Waco, Texas.

Jumping into action

No, there is no specific merit badge that trains Scouts on how to respond to 18-wheeler wrecks. But what the BSA does is empower young people to do what they can to safely and responsibly render aid in emergency situations.

Rylan pulled over, exited his vehicle and cautiously approached the scene.

“Where you’re standing right now is where the motor was,” Rylan told the KLTV reporter. Behind Rylan, you can still see piles upon piles of wood chips that were dumped from the vehicle.

The driver was trapped inside his truck, so Rylan used a set of tools to break the windshield. Eventually, he saw the driver stir and begin kicking the windshield out from the inside.

Deserved recognition

Rylan helped the man out, got him to a safe spot, and began administering first aid on a series of cuts the man had suffered on his arms. (Of course, there is a merit badge pamphlet for that.)

“I’m glad that he knew what to do and that he was able to help that man out,” Rylan’s dad, Randall, told the TV station. “God put him in the right place at the right time.”

Rylan earned a Youth Hero Award from American Legion Auxiliary Unit #113 in Lufkin, Texas, for his actions.

About Aaron Derr 454 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.