Sacramento TSA officer rushes to help airline employee hurt in car crash

Thursday, May 11, 2023
Sacramento International Airport TSA Officer Joshua Pina came to the aid of an airline employee involved in this car crash. (Photo by Sid Hanna)

A certain kinship exists among those who work at an airport. This is very true at Sacramento International Airport (SMF), where the aviation community is committed to delivering top tier services to residents and visitors in California’s capital city while helping each other.

SMF TSA Officer Joshua Pina demonstrated his personal level of commitment when he rushed to help an airline employee involved in a serious early morning car crash.

Pina was on his way to the airport around 4 a.m. when he saw a car wreck on airport property near the Interstate 5 interchange. A driver lost control of his car due to the wet road conditions and slammed into a large concrete road marker. The vehicle flipped and landed on its roof.

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) TSA Officer Joshua Pina (Photo courtesy of TSA SMF)
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) TSA Officer Joshua Pina (Photo courtesy of TSA SMF)

Pina immediately stopped his car, turned on the emergency flashers and used his vehicle to redirect oncoming traffic away from the crash scene. He then called TSA’s local coordination center and asked them to notify the fire department, the sheriff’s department and SMF airport operations so they could respond to the incident.

After ensuring there were no fuel leaks, flames or smoke, Pina turned off the engine of the crashed vehicle. He found the driver lying on his back in the upside-down car.

“After seeing the crash and realizing the driver was in danger from possibly being hit by another vehicle, I did what I could to protect him from further injury,” said Pina. “I just followed my instincts, asked him not to move and stayed with him. I assured the driver that help was on the way.”

First responders were quick to arrive and took control of the scene.

Pina learned shortly afterward that the driver of the wrecked vehicle was a fellow airport worker who was on his way to his job at Southwest Airlines at SMF.

“What started out as an ordinary morning turned into an opportunity to come to the aid of another person,” said SMF TSA Federal Security Director Sid Hanna. “I am grateful for TSA employees like Joshua Pina who selflessly step in to help those in need. TSA’s commitment to the public extends beyond our security duties, and we are proud to be part of and serve the larger SMF community.”

By Lorie Dankers, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs