Good Samaritan meets man he saved from fiery I-85 crash

by: Sophia Choi Updated:


ATLANTA - A good Samaritan who helped save the sole survivor of a wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 at the I-285 ramp on Wednesday says he's no hero, he's just humane.

Jeff Justus went to Grady Memorial Hospital Friday to meet the man he pulled out of a burning truck.

Gary Tucker, 62, is still in intensive care.

"Of course he didn't remember my face, but he remembered my voice," Justus said.

"Apparently he had surgery this morning, he's going to have to have one more. He's got spirits, he's in pain of course, but truly a great man," Justus told Channel 2's Sophia Choi, after the meeting.

The last time the two men met was chaotic. A wrong-way driver, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner as William B. Wright, 49, of Florida, had just crashed into Tucker's truck.

Justus, a sheet metal worker for R.F. Knox in Smyrna, was on his way back from a job at Georgia State University when he saw the two trucks on fire.

Justus said he didn't think and just went into action.

"There's things popping and blowing up in the other truck. It's just a matter of 'I need to get you out,'" Justus said to Tucker.

Justus said he first used his fire extinguisher to put out some of the flames then freed Tucker from his seat belt to pull him to safety.

Meanwhile, Justus said Tucker was asking about his brother-in-law, Christopher Oday, 49, or New York, who was a passenger in his truck.

Oday died in the crash.

"What plays over in my mind is him screaming, and the other truck. Explosions going off in the other truck," said Justus.

Justus said he was in the right place at the right time and did the right thing.

"Just faith in fellow man, mankind. Everyone I would hope to do the same," Justus said.