Family thanks Mehlville firefighter for saving the life of 4-year-old girl


A Mehlville Fire Protection District employee was honored last week for saving a life.

Firefighter Terry Wehrman was off duty the morning of May 3 when he came upon an accident south of Hillsboro involving Nichole Hensley and her two children, 19-month-old James, and 4-year-old Cheyenne.

“I was taking my children to day care, my car hydroplaned and then was hit by a pickup truck,” Hensley recalled. “Then we went down an embankment.”

Hensley said Wehrman heard her screaming as he drove by a little later.

“First, he pulled Cheyenne out of the car,” Hensley said. “I couldn’t see what he was doing to her.

“Then, he got my son and I out of the car. I couldn’t walk. He got all three of us up the hill.”

Hensley said her daughter’s injuries included severe brain trauma with bleeding and swelling, liver lacerations, a bruised kidney and a collapsed lung.

“People at the emergency room told me that if it weren’t for Terry, my daughter wouldn’t have made it,” Hensley told a capacity crowd Nov. 15 during a ceremony in Wehrman’s honor at the fire district’s Training Facility.

To thank Wehrman for his heroic efforts, the Hensley family presented him with a silver-plated fire ax with the inscription: “To my guardian angel Terry. Thank you for saving my life May 3, 2007. I hope to be a part of your life forever. Cheyenne.”

Holding the plaque, Wehrman thanked God for having him there when he was needed.

“My reward is seeing (Cheyenne) here tonight, safe with her family,” Wehrman said.