Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 13, 2018

Firefighters recognize man for saving a child

Chattanooga Fire Department Capt. Robert Thompson, Capt. David Tallent, Van Anderson, Fire Chief Phil Hyman and Peter Baldschun, husband of the deceased driver and father of the child Anderson saved - Photograph provided

Chattanooga firefighters have honored a local resident for rescuing a young girl from the dangerous wreckage of a fatal accident.

The accident occurred Feb. 17 on Ochs Highway at the base of Lookout Mountain when an 18-wheeler hauling hazardous materials collided with three vehicles, resulting in two injuries and one fatality.

The truck had left the roadway, rolled on top of a Toyota Tacoma and was threatening to continue rolling down the embankment. Upon seeing the crash, eyewitnesses called 911, and the Chattanooga Fire Department, Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County EMS were dispatched to the scene.

Before first responders arrived, Van Anderson took action. After hearing the crash outside his home, he went to see if he could help the driver. When he realized a vehicle was under the 18-wheeler and heard a child crying, Anderson pulled the girl out of the vehicle and took her to safety.

The child’s mother, Mallory Baldschun, was driving the pickup truck and was killed in the crash.

Fire Chief Phil Hyman recently presented a Citizen Achievement Award to Anderson for his potentially life-saving efforts. “In a situation like that, civilians are not expected or encouraged to get involved in a rescue operation,” Hyman said. “The truck could have rolled over on top of him or some of the acid in the tank could have leaked out on him. But he didn’t think of himself. For that reason, we recognize his heroic actions.”

Source: Chattanooga Fire Department