Man Says He'll Never Forget HERO Who Died Helping Him

12:11 AM, Feb 2, 2011   |    comments
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  • James Davis met Spencer Pass moments before he died.
  • Spencer Pass

ATLANTA -- The man who was being helped by a Highway Emergency Rescue Operator who was killed Monday, talked about the crash, and how it has affected his life.

James Davis met HERO operator Spencer Pass when his truck stalled on I-85 southbound near Cleveland Avenue. Davis said his battery died and less than five minutes later, Pass pulled up behind him to offer help.

At the time, I didn't know his name," Davis said. He could tell Pass was special by the way he handled his job. "Because of how cautious he was, how helpful he was, and just very professional, I could tell it was something he's either been doing for years, or it was something that he enjoyed," Davis said.

Davis and Pass were standing in front of the pickup truck with the hood up on the shoulder of the highway. Without warning, while Pass was connecting jumper cables to the pickup truck, Davis said he heard a loud noise. "As soon as I heard the impact, I looked and the hero truck was coming toward us," he said.

A diesel pickup truck towing a trailer with a Bobcat on it, slammed into the HERO unit, pushing it into Davis' pickup. The Truck then struck and killed Spencer Pass. Davis said he doesn't remember how, but he jumped out of the way over a guard rail.

He said the next thing he remembered was looking for the HERO operator who helped him. Spencer pas was lying lifeless in the road. "It's amazing," he said. "I met the guy and I could recognize him if I saw him again, but the guy I saw laying there, it was two different people."

Davis said he walked up to Pass and kept yelling to see if he was okay but he didn't answer.

Davis didn't know Pass's name until he heard it on the news that night. He couldn't get him out of his mind, and felt a need to reach out to his family. "In that short period of time I could tell he was a good person," he said.

"I just had to reach out to someone and just express how I felt and tell them I was sorry," Davis said.

Davis found a phone number for Pass's brother. He then called his mother and his wife. "It means a lot to hear from him," Dawn Pass said. "He took a liking to Spencer right away so that means a lot, it means so much," she said.

Davis said he hopes to meet with Pass's family soon. He said he will go to his funeral. "I haven't known him that long, but that impact, I'll never forget him, I'll never forget that man," he said.

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