Honoring a hero: Boyd senior credited with saving co-worker’s life

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, October 28, 2017

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Heroes Ride

HERO’S RIDE – Boyd senior Colby Williams is credited with saving the life of a co-worker and stabbing victim. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Still recovering from stab wounds, Rick Chappell hoped to be at Boyd’s Yellowjacket Stadium Friday to see the young man who he credits with saving his life honored.

“My life flashed before my eyes. I thank God for providing this young man,” Chappell said Thursday about his co-worker, Colby Williams, at Deal Trading Company on Jacksboro Highway in Fort Worth near Casino Beach.

“If not for Colby being there, I would’ve been dead.”

Williams, 17 and a Boyd High School senior, loaded Chappell into his pickup after he was stabbed multiple times on the afternoon of Oct. 12 and drove him to the Lake Worth Fire Department to receive medical attention.

HAPPY GATHERING – Colby Williams visits Rick Chappell in the hospital. Chappell was stabbed multiple times on Oct. 12. Williams rushed him to aid. Submitted photo

Williams, credited as a hero, was to be honored between the first and second quarters of Boyd’s football game with Breckenridge by the school district and the Lake Worth Fire Department.

“His actions contributed to saving the other gentleman’s life,” said Mike Voorhies, Lake Worth fire marshal, who was slated to present Williams with a department coin and certificate.

Williams had just returned from Chicken Express with lunch that afternoon when he saw his bosses Tony Springfield and Chappell with a 25-year-old man. According to Chappell, the man had tried to break into an apartment on the site.

“They were arguing back and forth. I walked over to see what was going on,” Williams recalled.

“They ended up pushing and shoving, and he ended up shoving me. I told him to just get off the property. I tried to keep my cool. He ended up attacking me. The whole time he was attacking me he had his hand in his pocket. Rick jumped in and the guy hit Rick. Rick, started hitting him back.”

Chappell said he didn’t want to see Williams get hurt.

Springfield tried to usher the man off the property when he was attacked with a knife. He ended up being stabbed more than six times.

“[Springfield] ran to me and said ‘He’s got a knife.’ I stepped in, and he got me in the neck twice,” Chappell said.

Chappell ended up being stabbed 18 times, including the wounds to the neck. Another teen and Williams helped stop the attack.

“Tony was on the ground and there was this kid named Dillon [Corley] there,” Williams recalled. “The guy had a knife to Tony’s throat, and Dillon had him in choke hold. I ended up running over there. At the time I was on the phone with the cops.”

Williams soon had Chappell running to him. Seeing that he was bleeding, he knew he had to act quickly.

“I knew he was losing so much blood, and I knew he was diabetic,” Williams said. “He fell on his knees, so I picked him up. He’s a bigger dude, like 250 pounds. I ran him to my truck which was probably [50 yards away]. I threw him in the passenger seat of this truck and rushed him to the Lake Worth Fire Department.”

Williams had spotted the fire department when he was at lunch.

“It turned out that the fire department was just right across the street from Chicken Express, or I’d never known it was there in Lake Worth,” he said.

In the less than two miles to the fire department, Williams sensed that Chappell was in bad shape.

“When I was looking over to him in the passenger seat, his eyes were rolling in the back of his head,” Williams said.

“I was calm until I realized Rick was about to die in my passenger seat.”

Williams slammed his brakes in front of a fire truck, and Chappell fell out of the truck as he was trying to get out.

“When he opened up the door, he tossed himself out and fell onto the ground,” Williams said. “Somehow, he got up and started walking over to [the firefighters]. They sat him down. When they started counting the stab wounds.

“Then the firefighters started panicking, I started panicking and started crying.”

Firefighters rushed Chappell to the hospital in the nick of time.

“When I got there, they were telling me if I’d waited 45 more seconds that he would have passed away,” Williams said.

“I was thinking about the Azle hospital. If I’d went there, there’s no doubt he would have died. I don’t know [why I thought of the fire department]. I knew I had to do something. I saw the fire department there, and I knew that was probably the closest spot.”

Chappell was in the hospital more than six days and had multiple surgeries. He’s already back at work.

Springfield’s wounds were even more severe with a lung being punctured. He had to be flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

“I didn’t realize Tony got stabbed or I wouldn’t have left,” Williams said. “I feel bad about that. You couldn’t tell because Tony was on his back.”

Williams spent almost every day at the hospital while his bosses were there.

Chappell has thanked and hugged Williams every time he’s seen him.

“I’ll hug him every time I see him, even if it’s a million times,” he said.

“I’ll owe that boy the rest of my life.”

Williams, who is planning to join the U.S. Army and hopes to be a medic, has mixed emotions about being called a hero.

“Makes me feel good personally, like I’ve done something. I just hope someone in my shoes, a younger kid like me, could react as fast I did and act as fast as I did,” Williams said. “It’s cool having the title of a hero, but at the same time I was doing what I knew I was supposed to do.

“I’m not the only hero. We all saved each other’s lives.”

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