WENTWORTH, N.C. — A man who survived an accident that involved a car falling on top of him, spent time Tuesday morning thanking the men and women who saved his life.

Rockingham County 911 says Shelby Iliff was dead for almost ten minutes after a car fell on top of him in a Stoneville garage. 

Justin Stewart, Training Officer at Rockingham County EMS, says in his 30 years as a first responder, he's never seen anything like it.

"One of the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my whole life… his whole body just jolted!," Stewart hared. "He has no pulse, he’s not breathing, we’re doing chest compressions, we've got an airway down, we’re breathing for him and then all of a sudden his body just jolted."

The accident happened on Friday, Jan. 18. The Rockingham County 911 Center received a call reporting that a car had fallen off the stands and was on top of the man at Johnson's Automotive.

A coworker, Ryan Johnson, found him and yelled for help. Iliff's brother, Braxston, was the first to respond.

He used another jack to get the car off his brother and jumped into action.

"Once you see that, you know, it was fight or flight and I fought," he explained.

The brother started CPR and followed instructions from 911 staff. Emergency resources were dispatched (Fire Dept., and EMS); and when they arrived on scene, they immediately requested Air Life.

But there was another problem.

"When he didn't have a pulse we knew a helicopter would not fly a CPR patient, he was not gonna make it." Stewart said. Their next priority became getting him to the nearest hospital.

Stewart even told Iliff's brother his son was gone, but they'd do everything they can to get his pulse back.

Then, it finally happened.

Air Life was dispatched by the 911 staff; and a landing zone was set up at UNC-Rockingham. Iliff was transported to the landing zone, loaded into the aircraft, and flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for medical care.

Rockingham County 911 Telecommunicators, Shiloh Fire Department members, EMS Crew members, and the Air Life Flight Crew will meet the man, along with his family per his request.

"It's amazing to see how many people came together to save my life that day. I never thought I'd have to go through something like that," Iliff said emotionally to the team.

Iliff will fully recover from the accident knowing this happy ending could've easily gone the other way.

"I'm glad I had the team I did there with me when it did happen."

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