ATHENS – Jimmy Moseley had finished working a long shift at Sheriff Botie Hillhouse’s Jail Monday when it was finally time to leave the monotone drone of the instructors and echoing, ear-piercing alerts and slamming cell doors and ever-present, rowdy din of the inmates.
He looked forward to the quiet of his drive home to Leagueville, often along unmarked back roads where only the threat of a rogue, feral hog stood between him and a well-earned rest.
But this early evening – it was around 6 p.m. – in the far away distance, he saw just the hint of black smoke rising. The smoke thickened as he turned off FM 317 onto a rocky, narrow, power-line road. This was no normal grass fire.
“I could see tail lights through the flames and a man lying just outside the driver-side door. He was just inches away,” Moseley said. “He was unresponsive, and there was no one else around, so I started dragging him.”
Within minutes the truck was fully engulfed.
Moseley alone at first, and then with the help of a passerby, pulled the victim another 10 feet, then 10 yards and finally, 15 yards away from the blaze which had now spread to the nearby brush in the ditch where the truck came to a stop.
“For every man and woman in our Office, service matters,” Sheriff Hillhouse said. “Jimmy’s bravery in this life-threatening, near-tragedy, saved a life and exemplifies the best we have to offer.”
An ambulance responded to Moseley’s 911 call, and the still-dazed victim was taken to the hospital and treated.
As for Moseley, he suffered flash burns across his ear down his left cheek on across his left arm. He went home for the evening.
Incredibly, this was not his first rescue. At least three times past, he has found himself rendering aid at a traffic crash or a pedestrian-verses-vehicle scene or some other mishap.
Through it all, he said he has found a purpose.
“Just before I came to work here I had a heart attack,” the 30-year-old said. “My wife is the only reason I am alive. She took me to the hospital, saved my life. So we’re all living on borrowed time. It is all good.”
(Sheriff Botie Hillhouse spoke about this incident in this week’s podcast below.)