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‘You can’t repay that’: Woman thanks heroes who saved her husband’s life in I-55 pile-up

<i></i><br/>Jennifer Hall thanked the heroes who saved her husband's life in the I-55 pile-up.
Lawrence, Nakia

Jennifer Hall thanked the heroes who saved her husband's life in the I-55 pile-up.

By Eli Brand

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    HAMMOND, Louisiana (WDSU) — It was an average Monday when Robert Hall’s wife, Jennifer got a call from a Baton Rouge number that she didn’t recognize.

She was at work as a middle school vice-principal, so she let the call go to voicemail. She received a voice message moments later. It was from a woman who was with her husband, helping give him aid after he had been in an accident on I-55.

Her husband had been part of the massive, deadly pile-up that morning and was badly injured. Jennifer Hall says she wasn’t the only person to receive a phone call after the crash, though, and that second call saved Robert Hall’s life.

“Those three people, well four, saved my husband’s life,” Jennifer Hall said.

Jennifer Hall said Robert knew two phone numbers by heart: hers and the number to his office at the Louisiana Department of Probation and Parole.

When Robert Hall called that office, they sent three men to try and help him. Those three were David Dean, Joseph Cotton and Mike Phelps.

“You look at all of the vehicles that are wrecked. They had cars on top of cars, burned cars. You could still feel the heat from the vehicles that had been totally burned,” Dean said about what the scene looked like when the trio arrived.

When they got there, they leaped into action. They took a first-aid kit and a spine board and drove as close as they could before walking the rest of the way to Hall.

Hall was with a paramedic, but they couldn’t get an ambulance to him.

“So then, at that time, I told them, ‘Let’s pick him up, we’re going to go, and we’ll find an ambulance.’ We put him on the backboard, and luckily, probably 30, 40 yards from us, there was a gurney. We took it and started pressing back towards our truck,” said Joseph Cotton.

But when they couldn’t find an ambulance, they took matters into their own hands to get Hall to the North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.

“We found his truck, took everything out of the back, secured him in, tied him down — and we took off,” Cotton said.

When the three got Hall to the hospital, his wife Jennifer saw him for the first time. While he was covered in blood and in a neck brace, she says she is thankful to the three men, especially after seeing what his car looked like after the crash.

“You can’t repay that. Words don’t express the gratitude that I have for the people who helped save his life,” said Jennifer Hall

Robert Hall was moved out of the intensive care unit Wednesday and into a regular room.

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