Nedeau, who works at the Garza West Prison Unit in Beeville, was on his way home when he was one of the first to arrive at the one-vehicle crash scene that claimed the lives of 15 people.
“I got there just a couple of minutes after it happened, I guess,” Nedeau said. “I was expecting to see more cars. That’s what shocked me.”
Nedeau immediately assisted those injured as much as he could. For his efforts, he was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Goliad County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are always grateful for the first responders - fire, EMS, officers - in situations like this, but we also wanted to acknowledge the Good Samaritan who stopped to render aid to his fellow man,” Sheriff Kirby Brumby said.
(See Nedeau, Page 3A)
“Mainly, I just sat with the ones who were still alive,” Nedeau said. “I held their hands and tried to keep them calm.”
Eight of the 23 injured survived the crash. Nedeau said he and others tried to rescue a woman from the wreckage. The woman later died.
“Getting that girl out is what sticks in my head,” Nedeau said. “We worked on her for so long to get her out.”
Nedeau said it was the fifth time he has been one of the first to drive up on a wreck on U.S. Highway 59. Tragically, his first wife, Donna, died in a wreck on U.S. Highway 59 near Berclair in 2006.
“I appreciate the certificate,” Nedeau said. “I don’t do it for this. I hope if I’m in that situation, somebody else would do the same for me.”