Fake news: US Army retracts tale of soldier saving a life with pen & hoodie
The Army Times published a story on January 9 praising the life-saving efforts of Sergeant Trey Troney, a 20-year-old field artillery cannon crewmember stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas. The now-deleted report claimed that Troney saved the life of Jeff Udger following a car accident in Sweetwater, Texas on December 22.
The dramatic tale starts with Troney stumbling upon the accident on his way home to Mississippi for Christmas. The soldier claimed he wrapped his ‘Salute to Service’ New Orleans Saints hoodie around Udger’s head to stop a bleeding head wound, and carried out a life-saving maneuver in the style of TV doctors, by using the tube from a ballpoint pen to treat Udger’s collapsed lung.
“Troney, who has been in the Army for three years, said he knew the procedure worked when he saw the bubbles come out of the tip of the pen,” read the article by the Post.
However, more media attention meant local fire and rescue services who actually responded to the crash began to speak up.
“There are so many similarities, but our patient didn’t have those injuries,” Sweetwater fire chief Grant Madden told the Army Times.
Madden said while there was a incident in Sweetwater that day – the fire chief said he pulled a victim with a head injury from a truck that had been struck by an 18-wheeler – the victim’s name was Jeff Hayes.
Hayes, a nurse of 28 years, says while he feels lucky to be alive, he is certain that there was no chest decompression performed on him.
“I was not decompressed, no chest tubes, no pen decompression. A field decompression would have placed me in the ICU and high-end monitoring, and there are no related scars or wound,” Hayes told the blog appropriately titled Army WTF Moments.
Upon further inspection, the police and fire department reports confirmed there were no chest procedures carried out on Hayes. A Spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety told the Army Times that while they can confirm Troney was at the scene, and concede it’s possible he gave his hoodie to help, even that could not be confirmed.
“We cannot find any evidence through our investigation that his story was accurate about the first aid he talked about,” Witt said.Also on rt.com Game of deception: How a fraudster who faked his stories for years got to be Germany’s top reporter
Police were also unable to locate Udger – even though he had previously sent an email praising Sgt. Troney for his efforts. When Troney’s own division attempted to contact ‘Udger’ to confirm the story a second email was sent to say ‘Udger’ was no longer willing to discuss the incident.
In light of the evidence to the contrary, the US Army retracted the story on Thursday due to “factual inaccuracies.” The retraction also included a lengthy apology to pretty much everyone: The “Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Highway Patrol, the city of Sweetwater, Texas, the city of El Paso, the University of Texas at El Paso, the New Orleans Saints, the local and national media and the American people.”
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