Ordinary Hero

I hope that everyone had a nice Easter Holiday, spent with family and friends. While many of us were wishing each other peace and love in the coming year, at least one of our extended family had the opportunity to turn those feelings into actions.

The following is an email from Tim, who works in our Technical Support department, describing the events of Saturday morning, April 3, 2010, the day before Easter. While I am sure Tim would say he was just “doing what anyone else would have done,” I believe his actions go far beyond that. I would like to thank him and commend him for demonstrating the best of what humanity has to offer to our fellow man.

This is his story, in his words:

I was late this morning because on Route 76 East, a Jeep lost its left front wheel, went over the center divider, and struck a car on the West bound side of the freeway. That car was stopped in the center lane of 76 West just before the Route 8 and I-77 split.

That’s were I came into the picture.  As I drove past the stopped car, I noticed there were two old people in the car (silver Mazda) still and no one was around (Police or Fire) or anyone else. Other cars were trying to miss the car in the middle of the freeway. I pulled over a ways up the road, way off to the side, and called 911. I told them about the car in the Route 76 West bound lane. They responded telling me that someone was already on the way. Then I asked the 911 operator about the people in the car. I told the 911 operator someone is going to slam into the back of this car. I told her I wanted to try and get them out of the car before this happens.

911 responded by telling me “I can not tell you to do that” blah blah blah. I told her, “Okay. Good bye.”

I could not stop thinking how my Mother, Father or someone else in my family or friends would feel scared in that situation. So I walked down to the stopped car I asked the guy to role down the window. Above the sound of the traffic going by, I asked if they could move ok and did they think they could get out of the car.

He responded yes, I told him wait, to not open the door yet. I told him I am going to come across and open the door. I told him when I do, I will get you out one at a time and bring you over to the side of the road one at a time. Then seeing what they could not, I waited for a break in the traffic long enough to get across to the car. Then, when there was another break in the traffic, I got him out and back across the street, and I did the same for his wife.

I walked them down the freeway West away from the car to get away from the accident, in case someone slammed into the back of the car, so we did not become like one of those videos we have all seen on the Internet or the news where someone who is out of the car gets hit by another car trying to avoid the accident.

Then we watched as car after car and truck just missed the silver Mazda in the middle of Route 76 West lane.

About then, the Akron Police showed up on the other side of the freeway by the Jeep (it was off the road). At this time I still thought the Jeep was someone who was stopped to also call the accident in. I didn’t know that it was her tire that had come over the center divider and hit the West bound lane car, because the older folks had told me when I got them out of the car that the tire had come off a truck and hit them.

When the police officer showed up on the other side of the freeway, I waved my arms trying to get him to notice me and to let him know he needed to be on this side of the freeway to block the on-coming traffic. He waved his hand and kept walking up to the Jeep. I am not sure if the officer did not realize from his vantage point where the car was on my side of the divider — that it was in the center lane.

Then a much younger driver in a black car was coming straight at the stopped Mazda, and at the last minute swerved right, going onto the side of the road (where we had been standing just moments before), then swerved left, sending the car into a counter clockwise spin. After hitting the center divider, she ended up in the far left lane facing backwards, but in direct line of oncoming West bound traffic.

So then I did the same for her. I got across the road, asked her if she could move. She thought she could get out of the car. I noticed she had seat belt marks on her left side of the neck and shoulder. I helped her out and across the road to the guardrail.

At about the same time, the officer told the person in the Jeep to stay were she was, and got in his car and drove down the freeway so he could come over to the West bound side of 76.

The Akron police officer was now on the westbound side of the freeway, and blocked the center and left two lanes with his car, and came across to us. I went up to the officer to let him know who was from what car, and that the younger driver had marks on her neck and chest from the seatbelt, that she told me something about hitting her legs and knees. I told him that the old couple seemed okay, but I was not sure. So the officer starting call for EMS.

The younger driver was getting upset and was shaking, so I calmed her down. She was asking for her phone to call her work and parents because of what just happened. She could not think of her number to use my phone,

So after checking with the officer, I went over to her car and got her phone. By the way, for those of you who think you will be able to get to your cell after you had car accident, the phone was way under the passenger seat and very hard to get.

Two EMS and another officer arrived on the scene, and after telling EMS who was with what car, I told the first officer I would go to work now if he didn’t need me stay any longer. He told me no and thanked me.

Then I went on to work.

But my mind was racing.

You never know how long you will be here! You never know how long the people you know and love will be here! You never know how long people you do not even know will be here! Later we might have found out in the news what could have happened had I been later, or even 10 minutes earlier to work that day!

Chance favors the prepared mind! Get Involved! Fancy words are great after the fact. but?

Use the time given to you! Each and every day!

Make a difference in someone’s life when it matters: right now! Because it’s right now that matters most!

It is this second, this minute, this hour that matters when someone needs help!

Your life connects to others you may not even know!

I’d like to thank the recent connections who have made my life better. Thank you to Dr. Alan H. Markowitz & The other people at UVH who made is possible for me to have two new heart vales.

Thank you to Habitat For Humanity of Portage County and all its volunteers without whom I would not have gotten a home in Ravenna, Ohio. Were I not living in Ravenna, I wouldn’t have been where I needed to be on Route 76 West, Saturday April 3rd, 2010, at 7:47 am.

And lastly, thank you to the company I work for: www.Skycasters.com, for having good health insurance, without which I would not been able to have my heart surgery that gave me life to keep working and the strength to help anyone, so that I’d be where I needed to be on Route 76 West Saturday April 3rd 2010 at 7:47am.


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