Man tried to rescue Hamilton woman from burning SUV: ‘She didn’t suffer’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Calvin and Brenda Todd stopped after the crash on Ohio 129

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Brenda and Calvin Todd were on their way to Home Depot last Friday, traveling on Ohio 129 when a sunny fall afternoon turned to tragedy.

A concrete bucket truck traveling west on Ohio 129 near Fair Avenue rear-ended the SUV driven by Deanna Gilreath.

ExploreMORE: Truck driver’s license was suspended at time of fatal Hamilton crash

The Jeep Liberty burst into flames and the Hamilton woman was killed at the scene, but Calvin Todd was one of several good Samaritans who tried to get the 58-year-old woman out of the fiery crash.

The Todds, of Hamilton, were traveling east on Ohio 129 and stopped immediately.

“I saw the truck hit the lady. (The SUV) just burst into flames,” Calvin Todd said. He went over the median and began trying to unlock the SUV door.

“Another man was there trying to get her out,” he said. “But it was just too hot. It was so intense … we tried very hard to get her out. I am so sorry.”

Calvin Todd said he could see that Gilreath was unconscious.

“She didn’t cry out or scream,” he said. “She didn’t suffer.”

The Todds said they planned to attend Gilreath’s visitation, which was held Wednesday evening, to offer comfort to the family.

Calvin Todd said he singed his hand in the rescue attempt, but is fine physically.

“I have had trouble sleeping,” he said.

Gilreath was a nurse at Fort Hamilton Hospital for almost 35 years and leaves behind a husband, two sons and grandchildren. Her funeral is today.

The crash remains under investigation by the Hamilton Police Department.

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