by: Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Updated:
A retired Georgia fire chief was arrested for failing to remove his car while he rescued a woman from a crash, according to a traffic incident report from the Georgia State Patrol.
Retired Griffin Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Rick Rickerson parked his Toyota Tundra on the shoulder of a highway in Pike County on Oct. 10 and rushed to aid a woman whose car crashed and ran off the road, according to the report.
The woman was found slumped over and not breathing, so Rickerson moved her across the two front seats and rendered aid, according to the report.
Thanks in part to Rickerson, the injured woman is alive and being treated at a rehabilitation center in McDonough, Georgia. She has a broken arm and cannot move her legs. She was hospitalized at Grady Memorial for weeks.
WSB reported that the lifesaving event ended with Rickerson’s arrest.
As emergency services arrived on the scene, Rickerson was asked to move his truck so that personnel could assist with the woman’s injuries.
Rickerson refused three times, Sgt. R.S. Jeter noted in the report, telling the trooper: “I don’t care who you are. You can take me to jail, but I’m not moving my vehicle or leaving this patient right now.”
Rickerson told WSB another bystander moved his truck for him as he rendered aid, but that wasn’t the end of the situation.
Jeter said when he tried to reason with Rickerson again, he became “belligerent and kept talking over” the trooper.
Rickerson was arrested for obstruction of an officer “due to the fact that he consistently refused to remove his car from the roadway,” Jeter wrote in his report.
Rickerson, who has since bonded out of the Pike County jail, told WSB he is fighting the charges and doesn’t regret what he did.
“If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “I would still take care of that patient.”
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