Army sergeant's claims he saved life with pen, sweatshirt called into question

An Army sergeant's story that he saved the life of a Texas car crash victim with a ballpoint pen and a New Orleans Saints sweatshirt has come under increasing scrutiny after local firefighters said the victim's injuries did not match the soldier's claims.

On Jan. 9, the Army's public affairs blog posted the story of Sgt. Trey Troney, who allegedly witnessed the Dec. 22 multi-vehicle crash in Sweetwater, Texas, while driving home to Mississippi for Christmas from Fort Bliss. The post said the wreck left driver Jeff Udger with a collapsed lung and a gash on his head. As the story went, Troney wrapped Udger's head in the sweatshirt and used the hollowed-out pen to relieve the pressure in the injured man's chest. However, emergency officials in Sweetwater told the Army Times on Thursday that no one fitting Troney's description treated Udger for any injuries.

​​​​​​Troney's command has launched an investigation into whether he lied about his role in the accident response and Fort Bliss officials have retracted the story, spokeswoman Maj. Allie Payne told the publication.

"He was at the accident scene. And he may have lent his jacket to apply to the injured victim’s head," Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lt. Bryan Witt said. "That’s all that we see that he did ... We cannot find any evidence through our investigation that his story was accurate about the first aid he talked about."

Grant Madden, chief of the Sweetwater Fire Department, told the Army Times the patient they treated from the accident scene did not have a collapsed lung and never lost consciousness, contrary to the initial story.

"There are so many similarities, but our patient didn’t have those injuries," said Madden, who added that his patient was named Jeff, but did not have the last name Udger.

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