The good Samaritan who jumped into action last week after witnessing a crash that nearly killed a tow truck driver says he never thought twice about helping that morning.
Kevin Gentry, a former Marine and current State Department employee, was driving to work on I-395 northbound on April 16. It had been raining heavily, and his carpool partner was napping in the front seat.
But soon their quiet routine would be shaken up.
Not long after passing the Duke Street exit, Gentry says he saw a car lose control ahead of him. The car hit the jersey barrier on the left before ricocheting all the way across the interstate to strike what Gentry thought was the wall.
But as he got closer, he could see that the situation was much worse.
"As we were slowly maneuvering through the debris, I noticed someone underneath the tow truck," Gentry wrote to News4 in an email. "The way this person was moving about indicated to me that there was a problem."
Gentry pulled over immediately and woke his colleague, instructing him to call 911.
The car that lost control hit a disabled car from a previous accident and pushed it into the tow truck operator, severing his leg.
"At this moment, instinct and training took over. I remember saying that everything would be OK. He was now safe," Gentry said.
Gentry took off his belt and used it as a tourniquet while using his free hand --covered by his jacket -- to stem the blood flow from the femoral artery.
Gentry began talking with the victim in an attempt to keep him conscious, asking his name, whether he was married and whether he had children.
"The victim was incredibly clear and instant in his responses," Gentry recalled.
But the danger had not passed.
As Gentry attended to the victim, he noticed a second vehicle had suddenly lost control on the wet pavement and was headed straight for them. Gentry shoved the victim under the tow truck to try to shield him and then jumped behind him.
The car stopped just short of the two men.
The Alexandria Fire Department arrived on the scene a short time later.
Gentry continued on to work and says he never thought twice about helping that morning.
"I do not, in any way, consider myself a hero. ...There was another human being in need, and I was fortunate to be in that time and place to render help," he said.
Gentry's family and friends reached out to News4 after hearing an appeal from the driver’s family for help finding the kind stranger who helped saved their loved one.
"He is a a great guy - a true Marine - once Military guy always one," the wife of one of his co-workers wrote.
Since then, Gentry has been able to visit the hospital and meet the man he saved.
The tow truck driver's family has asked that his name be kept private, so he can focus on recovering.
"I'm just grateful I was able to help someone in need, but more importantly, to give a son back his father, and a wife, her husband," Gentry said.