By Ed Brock
For an ex-Marine and first Persian Gulf War veteran like Tim Jones of Jonesboro, wading into a flooded trench to rescue some motorists following an accident is not too challenging.
"I'm pretty familiar with things like this," Jones said.
Right by Jones side in rendering assistance to the driver and passenger in one car involved in the wreck on Mundy's Mill Road Monday morning was Chesley Eugene Forest, the man police say caused the accident.
"We had to charge (Forest) anyway," Clayton County police spokesman Capt. Jeff Turner said.
Forest, 54, of Jonesboro has been charged with failure to yield when entering the roadway in connection with the accident.
Around 8:30 a.m. 21-year-old Marvin George Headley and a 17-year-old female passenger were driving east on Mundy's Mill Road near Mundy's Mill High School where traffic was heavy in the westbound lanes, according to a police report. Forest came from the entrance to the school, crossing the westbound lanes after being waved through by another driver and entered the eastbound lanes in front of Headley.
Headley swerved to avoid Forest, hit Forest's car anyway and then went into the ditch.
"I saw the car headed toward the ravine and I jumped out of my car," said Jones who was driving nearby.
He told a woman to call 911, then headed for the ditch in which Headley's 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme was sinking into five to six feet of water.
"I went to the side with the driver and asked him if he was OK," Jones said.
"I didn't think about my life. I was just afraid someone might be drowning. I was afraid some kid might be in the back seat. I didn't think about it until I got home. I have had five bypasses and every morning I ask the Good Lord to let me do something to glorify Him. That's the way I live my life," Forest said.
"He wanted to help them out," Jones said.
Headley and his passenger seemed to be not badly injured.
"They said they were nervous and pretty upset about this," Jones said. "The car was headed nose down. It's a good thing the windows were down and we could get them out through the windows because we couldn't get the door open."
The two were treated at the scene and released, Turner said.