A month after crash, woman reunites with off-duty D.C. firefighter who saved her life

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brittany Crouell said she told herself she was not going to cry today when she reunited with Jeff Beach, a ten year veteran of the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department.

But she said she couldn’t help it when he immediately greeted her with a hug.

“It’s one of those moments where it’s just like, I shouldn’t be here, but I am.”

Beach was off-duty, driving home from an appointment when he saw a car hit Crouell’s in the area of Martin Luther King Highway and Lottsford Vista Road in Lanham, Maryland.

Her car overturned, and she was trapped.

“I was screaming and trying to get out,” she says.

Beach says he used a cheap pocket knife to cut through the windshield and found her arm amputated at the elbow.

He quickly applied his belt as a tourniquet and a nurse, who also pulled over, coached him through.

When the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department arrived, they say medics on scene told them that Beach’s actions probably saved the woman’s life.

She was extricated and flown out by a Maryland State Police medevac helicopter.

“He literally came out of nowhere like a Godsend angel,” says Crouell. “Everybody just working with him to help me, you don’t see that type of humanity everyday, so he just has a really special place in my heart.”

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