Lending a hand; Airman reacts to vehicle accident

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Helena Owens
  • Andersen Air Force Base Public Affairs

It’s the crack of dawn, the smell of waffles fills the air and he is getting his son ready for school. All of a sudden, he hears ‘screech… BANG!’ 

‘Thump, thump, thump’, his heart is racing as he rushes to the window to see what the commotion was.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Ornellas, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Fuels Environmental and Safety office assigned to the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron, sprang into action when he saw a vehicle had crashed outside of his home in Yigo, Guam, May 13, 2021. 

“I immediately called 911 and told them what happened,” said Ornellas. “I then told my son his waffle would be done soon and I was going to run outside and check on these people.” 

Ornellas said the truck was flipped onto the driver’s side and the passengers of the vehicle were trying to climb out when he got out there. He assisted in helping the driver and her son out of the truck and making sure they were okay.

“The driver had a little cut on her forehead but nothing major, they were both conscious and walking around,” said Ornellas. “I made sure the vehicle was off because I didn’t want the fuel tank to catch fire or anything to explode.”

Shortly after Ornellas got them out of harm’s way the Guam Fire Department had shown up and he let them take over. Ornellas says he was prepared to use the skills he learned throughout his military career to render care if needed but thankfully it wasn’t.

“I can take this event into account for future safety briefings, especially for the new Airmen coming here from the states that have never driven on coral surfaces before,” said Ornellas. “I can tell them I witnessed first-hand what can happen if you lose control; brief them to be mindful when it’s raining, watch their speed and to just stay alert.”

Ornellas’ leadership spoke very highly of his character and his actions after the event occurred. His supervisor said this could attest to who he is as a person, kind and selfless.

“When I heard about what Ornellas had done it made me swell with pride,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kyle Beck, superintendent of the Fuels Environmental and Safety office assigned to the 36th LRS. “He cares about all of the Airmen here at the petroleum, oil and lubricant section greatly and he’s just an all-around nice guy. He’s a great person and someone I want standing in my corner.”

Ornellas said he is just happy that everyone is okay. He says this was the best possible outcome for the situation at hand. 

“I would like to think anyone in my situation would have done the same thing,” said Ornellas. “I thought for a split second, maybe someone else will be out there to help and I snapped out of that quickly and realized that someone should be me. I hope everyone has the same realization as I did and lends a helping hand when they can.”