Soldier honored for saving another after nearly fatal crash - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Soldier honored for saving another after nearly fatal crash

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

An Arizona National Guardsman was honored Sunday for saving the life of a friend and fellow soldier.

He was given the distinguished service medal for his quick response after a near-fatal car crash last summer.

"This is the dorkiest guy I know," said Pfc. Edwin Carter.

These two friends and army national guardsmen can laugh together now, but doctors say Specialist Rashaad Gregory might not be alive if it wasn't for the quick thinking of fellow soldier Private First Class Edwin Carter.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," said Gregory.

The two were driving to get pizza last summer when they were hit by a car at 99th Avenue and Campbell.

"He had blood and everything coming out of his mouth and nose. When you see that, it's basically a head or neck injury," said Carter.

Carter says he relied on his military training to stabilize Gregory's head and neck, something doctors credit with saving his life.

"I grabbed a blanket, wrapped into a pillow, sat him up so he wouldn't drown on his blood since he was unconscious, just stabilized his neck holding it in place," said Carter.

It turns out Gregory had an internal decapitation: a rare injury where the skull is severed from the spine.

"The doctor said Gregory would not have survived had Pfc. Carter not done what he did," said Col. Steve Smith, with Arizona National Guard.

Carter was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the second highest medal a guardsman can get.

"This is definitely something that's going to go down in our history books as the greatest moments of our lives," said Gregory.

Initially Gregory's outlook was bleak, if he survived doctors said he'd likely be paralyzed.

Although he's in a wheelchair, Gregory can walk; FOX 10 saw him practicing in December.

He says he's on his way to a full recovery.

"I thanked him so much. Like, 'Dude, you saved my life.' He was like, 'Man I'm just doing what I was supposed to do, you would have done the same thing, you would have done the same thing for me and you know it'," said Gregory.

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