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January 23, 2019

New Baltimore man pulled mom from flaming vehicle

Photo/Don Del Rosso
I just did what I hope someone would do for me, because I’ve been in the same situation where I was in a car accident,” John E. Piette Jr. says of his actions Aug. 28.
He acted. He did something. And, quite frankly, he probably saved the life of that lady.
— Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Jeremy Falls
John Edgar Piette Jr.
• Age: 24

• Home: Near New Baltimore.

• Work: Security background investigator, CACI International, a large Arlington-based consulting firm; 2017-present.

• Family: Parents, Kristy and John Sr., and younger sister.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, Bridgewater College, 2016; Kettle Run High School, 2012.

• Hobbies: Playing basketball and video games.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The security background investigator described the summer afternoon as a “typical, normal” day.

“I was on my way home, on Riley Road” last Aug. 28, recalled John Edgar “Johnny” Piette Jr., who lives near New Baltimore and works for CACI International, a large Arlington-based consulting firm. “I heard the screeching; I heard the tires.”

Southbound along Riley Road (Route 676) near the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co. building, Mr. Piette passed through a tight curve and abruptly stopped his yellow 2004 Chevy Cobalt about 45 feet from a two-car, head-on collision.

“I saw the smoke and the cars rolled back,” he said. “I’d never seen an accident happen right in front of me.”

The former Kettle Run High School and Bridgewater College football player immediately ran to a women trapped in one of the wrecked vehicles.

“She was kind of jammed in,” Mr. Piette, 24, said of the victim. “Her door was kind of bent in and her windshield was gone . . . . There were some flames on the front passenger side of the car.”

Faye Brown, a Manassas Realtor and New Baltimore resident, also stopped to help.

After prying open the driver’s door, Mr. Piette and Ms. Brown removed the woman, whose injuries included two broken legs, from the vehicle.

They then carried the injured woman to the roadside and waited for first responders to arrive.

“We thought the car was going to go up, like an explosion,” said Ms. Brown, 40. “It was the most terrifying day of my life. It was really scary.”

Authorities on Sept. 25 charged the other motorist in the crash — Christopher D. Jenkins of Warrenton — with “maiming” another while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Mr. Jenkins, 27, remains free on a personal recognizance bond.

In a proclamation at its Jan. 10 meeting, Fauquier’s board of supervisors thanked Mr. Piette for his “heroic actions” and “split-second decision of a life-and-death nature to perform a . . . successful lifesaving act on another human being.”

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Jeremy A. Falls also congratulated Mr. Piette at the meeting.

“Obviously, it goes without saying that we, as citizens, hope that we would do the same thing,” Lt. Col. Falls told the audience.

As Mr. Piette approached the accident site, the victim’s vehicle “was on fire and beginning to consume” it, the lieutenant colonel said. “And, he acted. He did something. And, quite frankly, he probably saved the life of that lady.”

“So he’s a hero. And I thank you from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. We greatly appreciate it.”

Mr. Piette takes that kind of talk in stride.

“I just did what I hope someone would do for me, because I’ve been in the same situation where I was in a car accident,” he said in an interview last week. “I didn’t think I was going to be a hero because of it, or anything like that.

“I didn’t know if I was going to save a life or not. But, I figured I was going to help do something.”

He never gave a second thought to helping the trapped woman, Mr. Piette said.

“I just felt that I needed to do what’s expected of me.”

While “very proud” of his son, the young man’s action came as no surprise to the father.

“The Piette family’s raised that way,” John E. Piette Sr. said. “We care . . . . It’s just in our nature to help people.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.

Proclamation John Edgar Pie... by on Scribd

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