Dan Gloth, 56, of Cartersville says that he was headed southbound on Interstate 75 on his way home from a trip to Tennessee when a tractor trailer swerved into the far right lane, forcing him off of the road.
“I’m not sure if I was in his blind spot or not,” he said.
Seconds after swerving to avoid the truck, Gloth recalls his tire being caught by something after hitting the road grooves in the emergency lane.
“I woke up with my car on fire,” he said. “My doors were locked and my cabin was filled up with smoke. It was black. I couldn’t see anybody or hear anything.”
Breathing inside the car became very difficult, he recalls.
“I was close to my last breath,” he said.
The next sound he heard, however, was the sound of a rescue team breaking in the window of his burning Buick Regal and someone shouting for his hand. The next thing Gloth knew, he was being pulled out of his car, he said.
Three deputies from the Gordon County Sheriff’s department immediately sprung into action around 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning at the one car wreck near the Resaca exit on I-75. Chad Phillips, Josh Cochran and Jeremy Battle worked along side passers-by to resuce Gloth from his flaming car.
“I think God sent them down, and they just don’t know that they have halos around their heads,” Gloth said through tears.
Jeremy Battles, who has 12 years of service in law enforcement was the first to arrive on the scene, followed by Phillips, who has been with the Gordon County Sheriff’s department for eight years, and Cochran, who was only on his second night of patrol duty.
After being pulled from the wreckage, Gloth was transported by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga to ensure that he had not sustained any life-threatening injuries in the crash.
“I couldn’t move my legs for a little while,” he said, but other than a few bruises and abrasions, he escaped the crash without a serious injury.
According to Gloth, the administrative staff at Gordon County Sheriff’s department made him feel welcomed “even though I’m from Bartow,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the outreach from that community.”