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NEWS | July 7, 2021

Georgia National Guardsman aids family after fatal car accident

By Capt. Amanda Russell

Specialist Gabrielle Kersey, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Macon, Ga., comforted a mother and daughter while waiting on the paramedics to arrive, in Dublin, Ga., on Highway 441, June 26, 2021.

Kersey and her boyfriend Cale were driving home from Dublin when suddenly a truck, speeding in the wrong direction, forced Cale to swerve out of the way. Kersey immediately called 911 to report the incident.

The truck continued speeding down the wrong side of the road and crashed into a car with a family of four trapped inside.

“We were already near the accident and knew it would be a while before the ambulance would get there,” said Kersey. “It was pure instinct for us to turn around to help.”

Unfortunately, when they got to the smashed vehicle, the father and one of the daughters were already deceased, while the mother and other daughter were severely injured. When Kersey and Cale realized the seriousness of the situation, they stayed with the two, keeping them calm until the paramedics arrived.

“Because of someone else’s recklessness, this family is grieving while also trying to recover from their own injures,” says Kersey.

Despite the horrific incident, there was no hesitation in helping another in need.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my Soldier,” said Maj. Matthew Smith, 48th IBCT brigade S1. “She exhibited great courage and compassion to take care of a grievously injured family.”

Kersey enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard in May of 2019 as a Human Resource Specialist. After graduating basic training and Advanced Individual Training in Fort Jackson, S.C, in 2020, she accepted a full-time position at the 48th IBCT in Macon, Ga.

“I didn’t plan on joining the military,” said Kersey. “But as soon as I stepped into the recruiter’s office I knew I belonged in the National Guard.”

National Guard members take an oath to serve the state; uniquely tying Guardsmen to their communities. Guard members often assist communities after an extreme weather event by helping local authorities clean up and restore the area. Guardsmen also serve the nation; routinely deployed overseas in multiple locations, often for six months to a year at a time.