Two Macon County men were rushed to Vanderbilt Medical Center with severe burns on Thursday, July 17, at approximately 3:30 p.m. after a drill rig wrecked and caught fire in Wilson County.
The driver of the drill rig, 31-year-old Philip Fleming, of Red Boiling Springs, was headed east on State Route 840, traveling approximately 50 mph, when the front, drivers side tire blew out, causing the rig to loose control, crash into a stone wall and catch fire.
Friend and co-worker, 36-year-old Eddie Lee, was following Fleming at the time of the wreck and pulled over, ran across the median and pulled Fleming from the vehicle.
“If Eddie hadn’t been there to pull Philip out of the fire, things would’ve been a lot worse,” said Philip’s wife Brandy. “I want Eddie to know that we are thankful for everything he’s done. We’re grateful to him, more than words, for doing what he did.”
Philip and Eddie were employed by Jones and Stone Drilling Co. of Lebanon, Tenn.
Fleming was flown by helicopter to the Vanderbilt Medical Center burn unit where he is being treated for third degree burns and has received skin graft surgery on both arms.
According to Brandy, it will take three to four days before doctors know if the skin has successfully taken hold and started the growth process.
Lee was also taken to Vanderbilt by ambulance for lesser-degree burns and was released for recovery on Sunday, July 20.
Lee’s burns are confined to his right arm and spread from his elbow to his fingers.
Two hazardous material wreckers were dispatched to the scene to clear away spilled oil, and Tennessee State Trooper Raymond Gaskill and two Wilson County Emergency Management Agency units were also on site.
Philip and Brandy Fleming are the parents of Kennedy and Claire Fleming.