William Longmore was pulled from death only to do the same for another man four weeks later.
He and his wife Angie Longmore saved the life of Robert “Bunky” Jones when the man’s car overturned on Ga. 140 on Aug. 16.
Angie, 37, was driving them home to Adairsville after her husband’s cardio-rehab appointment at Redmond Regional Medical Center when they came upon Jones’ burning car. William, 38, had a massive heart attack in July because of a completely clogged artery.
During a recent ceremony, attended by about 150 people, the Longmores received “A Tribute to Courage” plaque from the community, presented by Jack Dickey, one of the ceremony organizers; a Floyd County commendation, presented by Floyd County Commissioner John Mayes; and an award from the governor’s office, presented by State Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville.
“It’s an overused word, but it’s awesome,” Jones, 72, said. “They’re wonderful people and completely fearless.
William said he saw smoke coming from the woods near Ga. 140 not far from Rabbit Run golf course.
“At first we thought it was a brushfire,” he said. “We approached it thinking nobody was in it because it was quiet and you couldn’t see or hear anybody.”
Doctors believe Jones experienced something similar to a mild seizure that caused him to drive his Dodge Durango through a ditch and land passenger-side down near the woods. When Jones regained consciousness, he was suspended in the air by his tangled seatbelt.
After several minutes of failing to escape, he stopped praying for rescue and started praying for God to take him away from the agony of burning to death.
Then he heard the Longmores.
“It was just total relief,” Jones said. “At that point I don’t remember the pain anymore.”
The couple approached the burning car with a fire extinguisher and a hammer.
They broke the windows to reach him. They didn’t have anything to cut the seatbelt, but the flames soon burned it away.
“She grabbed an arm and I grabbed an arm and pulled him to safety,” William said.
Jones spent three weeks at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where doctors repaired his third-degree burns with skin grafts from his stomach and right leg.
At the ceremony, William said he doesn’t feel like a hero.
“But it does my heart good to know somebody can be with their family because we were there,” he said.
He also doesn’t think it was a coincidence that he and Angie passed by the accident. Both believe William’s heart attack was used by God so they could save Jones’ life.
“Had I never had a heart attack, I would never be going that way at that time,” William said.
The Longmores are not the only ones who believe providence rescued Jones.
“I think they’re really God’s angels who were sent to do it, and I’ll never be able to thank them enough,” said Jones’ mother Ruth Jones, 96.