By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Lieberknecht Navy Public Affairs Support Element East
NORFOLK, Va., November 23, 2015 — Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Swain, a fire controlman aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley, and his family were driving away from a Wells Fargo bank here when they heard police sirens, Nov. 15.
As the family watched, a car moving at approximately 100 mph collided with a truck during a chase involving two police cruisers. The truck flipped into the air and landed on its side, atop a nearby SUV.
“As soon as I saw it happen, I just got out of my truck. It was instinct,” Swain said.
Swain’s family pulled over and he and his mother, Frances Swain, ran to the flipped truck. They looked in a window to check the condition of the driver.
Frances opened the door, which was facing up. Tyler climbed on top of the vehicle, pulled the man out from the truck, and led the man to safety.
“The Navy has always taught us to help others. It doesn’t matter if it’s Navy or a civilian; the military teaches you to help people in need,” he said.
After the man was settled on the side of the road waiting for police assistance, he thanked the Swains.
“He came over and shook my hand, thanked me, asked me my name and wanted to tell me he appreciated everything I did,” Swain said.
The rescue took place the day before Swain began a 7-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McMeans, a fire controlman who works with Swain in the Bulkeley’s aft Close-In Weapons System. “He told me the story, and I thought, ‘Heck of a last day in port.’”
McMeans said Swain’s story was spreading around the ship, but that Swain was humble about the experience -- a normal guy placed in an extraordinary situation.