Montgomery County man killed in ATV crash remembered as hero

A Silver Spring, Maryland, man who was killed in an ATV crash Saturday is being remembered in Montgomery County for saving his neighbor’s life last year.

Montgomery County Fire and EMS recognized Paul Herbert just a few months ago as an “Everyday Hero.”

Herbert’s neighbor was working on a VW bus on June 1, 2021. The vehicle was up on a jack with the neighbor making repairs underneath.

The jack failed.

“Causing the RV motor coach to fall onto the patient with incredible force and move forward about 12 inches, pinning the patient underneath the vehicle against the frame from his head to his torso,” said MCFEMS Battalion Chief Ben Kaufman at the award ceremony in March. “To complicate matters, after the RV motor coach move forward, it was now on a downhill slope.”

The neighbor suffered multiple injuries including a punctured lung, broken ribs and damage to his left eye. He also couldn’t breathe because he was not able to expand his chest against the cars frame.

Herbert arrived on the scene and quickly got a jack under the bus and started to pump.

He raised the bus enough to let the neighbor breathe easier.

“Many people would have kept pumping the jack high enough to remove the patient from danger, but Mr. Herbert was able to recognize that increasing the height of the jack would have caused the motor coach to become unstable and possibly roll forward again, due to being on a downhill slope likely injuring the patient further,” Battalion Chief Kaufman said.

Fire crews arrived shortly after and were able to free the neighbor in about 10 minutes, after which he was taken to a trauma center.

“I did not think that I would get out from underneath there. I thought I was dead,” Herbert’s neighbor said at the ceremony. “And if it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be standing here. Thank you.”

Herbert was killed in a single vehicle accident on private property Briggs Chaney Road not far from New Hampshire Avenue.

Police do not suspect foul play at this time.

See video from the ceremony for Paul Herbert below.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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