Toyota replaces wrecked vehicle of off-duty medic who helped others in 133-vehicle pileup

MedStar Paramedic Trey McDaniel was injured when his 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser went airborne during the crash, but still aided other victims


By Laura French

FORT WORTH, Texas — Toyota has offered to replace the wrecked vehicle of an off-duty Texas paramedic who helped others after a fatal 133-vehicle pileup in Fort Worth.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare Paramedic Trey McDaniel was on his way to work on Feb. 11 when he saw vehicles crashing in front of him, and then crashed himself while trying to brake, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. After his vehicle, a 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser, crashed, a semi-truck then struck it at full speed, causing it to go airborne, according to McDaniel. 

McDaniel suffered injuries to his face, ankle, back and shoulders, but managed to crawl out of the wreckage and begin aiding others. McDaniel said he helped firefighters search for and treat victims despite experiencing dizziness due to his own injuries. He said the other first responders at the scene didn't realize until later that he had been involved in the crash, and had assumed he was on duty because he was already in uniform. 

McDaniel was then taken to the hospital and has since been released, but remained off work for several days due to his injuries. He posted an image of his badly wrecked vehicle on a Reddit page dedicated to discussing Toyota FJ Cruisers, stating "that Toyota saved my life." 

The Toyota USA Reddit account posted a response to McDaniel, offering to replace his totaled vehicle, stating, "We're just glad you're safe and inspired that you chose to help others in need." 

"The support I've received from Toyota, off-roaders, DFW [Dallas-Forth Worth] community, and people nation wide have been more than I could have ever imagined," McDaniel replied, thanking the company for its offer. 

The 133-vehicle pileup killed six people and injured at least 65 others, officials said. Icy road conditions were reportedly a contributing factor in the crash. Another off-duty EMS provider, JPS Hospital EMT Jesse Robinson, was also injured in the crash on his way to work, and stayed at the scene to aid others despite suffering fractured vertebrae. 

Read next: Rob Lawrence discusses the roles of fire, EMS and police personnel during a mass-casualty traffic incident in "‘A career event’ Traffic incident management in 130-vehicle pileup"

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