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Good Samaritan 'pays it forward' to stranger by saving his life
For the next month WEAR is teaming up with Hill Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and 'Paying It Forward.' This week we honor a good Samaritan who saved another man's life
It all started on March 2 when Dean Peterson was in a car accident.
He said, "I had a massive heart attack. I went into the ditch then went into a brick wall.
William Hallford just happened to be driving on the same road at the same time.
"I figured it was something serious because I didn't see him correct himself or any break lights," William said,
He pulled Dean out and immediately started doing CPR.
"He stopped breathing. I didn't feel his pulse any longer," William explained.
It was his first time doing CPR. He was trained on it because he is a corrections officer at the Escambia County Jail. That training saved Dean's life. He was flown to West Florida Hospital where he remained in a coma for weeks.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. If it wasn't for him, God and my family, I wouldn't be here. It's a miracle." said Dean.
However, William left the scene that night, not knowing who he helped or if he was even alive.
"I was trying to look through social media and didn't find anything. So I kept asking my fiancé, I wonder if he's doing OK," William said. "It was frustrating to not know if I had performed everything correct. Did I do enough? That is what really bothered me."
He'll never forget the day he received a call from Dean's wife.
"Relief just knowing he was OK. I was ready to see him," he said.
William was at the hospital the day he woke up. The two are now like family.
Dean said, "First time I saw him, it was unbelievable. Now he's like one of my children."
The Peterson's told us their story and nominated William for Pay It Forward. We surprised him with $500 from Hill Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
That $500 will help William's family as they welcome in a new baby in September.