by: Tom Jones Updated:
ATLANTA - The father whose two sons were in a violent crash is thankful longtime WSB traffic reporter Capt. Herb Emory was there to comfort his sons.
Emory suffered a massive heart attack at that scene.
The two-car crash happened Saturday afternoon on Burnt Hickory Road in Douglasville.
Right after the collision, Emory, who lives nearby, rushed to the scene.
Manuel McFarland's two sons, Julius, 19, and Jalen, 11, were in one of the cars.
"Herb was, from what I was told, he was like the third person on the scene and he was trying to get my oldest son Julius out," McFarland said.
"I was pretty much knocked out," Julius told Channel
2's Tom Jones.
He was trapped inside and didn't know one of the voices trying to keep him calm was Emory's.
"We flipped over into the grass into a ditch," Jalen explained. He was injured and dazed but managed to get out of the car after the crash.
Their dad says Capt. Herb was a godsend as he worked the scene and tried to comfort him and his sons.
"Herb calmed him down... and was trying to get Julius out of the vehicle. Also calmed me down because I was hysterical," McFarland recalled.
He says when he arrived at the scene he recognized Emory and also noticed him taking charge.
"It seemed like he knew what to do. He directed people to where they needed to go," he said.
McFarland says he saw Emory walk off as he left to go check on his sons in the hospital.
He thought nothing more until he heard the 61-year-old traffic guru died of a massive heart attack he suffered at the scene.
"You almost couldn't believe it. They always say God takes the good ones first," he said.
McFarland sends his condolences to Capt. Herb's family. He's thankful Emory was in the right place doing what he always has done. And that's direct people to safety.
"All you could think of is it was Capt. Herb. It was the thing that he would do," McFarland said.
McFarland thought it was coincidental Emory was on the scene helping his sons years after he first met him.
"I was first introduced to him on a ... I think we were having a field day or a career day rather," he said.
McFarland was in the third grade. He says Capt. Herb made eye contact as he spoke and was very engaged.
"He was a hands-on type of person so whenever he came to talk to you he put his hands on your shoulder," he said.
Now those hands will be laid to rest after one last act of kindness. An act the McFarland family will never forget.