DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Several months after surviving a horrific truck crash in Dickson County, two brothers finally have the opportunity to thank the first responders who saved them in person.
The Buker brothers were driving back from school on Oct. 28, 2022, when the crash took place, leaving a mangled truck wrapped around a tree.
“We were coming down Rock Church and kinda got pushed off a bit by another car, and my back tire went off the road and it kinda just took it sideways,” recalled 17-year-old Brayden Buker, who was driving the truck that day.
Nathan England, a firefighter with Dickson County Fire and Rescue, said he was about two miles away when the emergency crash call came in.
In his 17-year career, England said this was one wreck he cannot forget.
“The patient was in a very bad spot — pinned up against the tree, the truck kinda wrapped around him a little bit, and in very critical condition at the moment,” England described.
That patient was 16-year-old Easton Buker. The family said that before paramedics arrived, his brother, Brayden, used a box cutter to get the seatbelt off Easton’s neck.
“I had a complete fracture right here, and this was, like, broke off and it was able to heal on its own,” said Easton, pointing to different parts of his face.
To name just a few of his injuries, he also had three breaks on his pelvis, an exposed nerve, and a broken rib. On top of that, he had to learn to walk again.
“My brain knows what it wants to do, but my body wouldn’t do it,” Easton explained.
During his recovery, the first responders held a parade outside the Buker family’s home.
“It was awesome just to be able to ride by him and see his face,” England said. “Being able to see him alert and breathing was a bunch for us. It meant a whole lot to us.”
England and the other first responders will see the Buker brothers face-to-face for the first time since that October crash during a reception on Thursday, Jan. 26.
“I don’t know what to say to them other than ‘thank you,’ and that they’re great people,” said Easton.
“The bad ones always stick with you, but luckily, this bad one will give us a good memory for the rest of our lives,” England said. “Easton will be a part of all of our departments for years to come.”
During Thursday evening’s reception — which is taking place at 6:30 p.m. at the fire hall on Jones Creek Road in Dickson County — the boys’ mother, Ashley Buker, plans to share the thank-you letter pictured above with first responders.