Bystanders become good Samaritans, help EMTs after head-on crash

EMTs representing Exeter District Ambulance - left to right - Athena Bear, Sam Scott, Jeremy Thomas, and Josh Perez. Not pictured, Ramond Moroyoqui and Deanna Pendergraft.(Kenny Goodman)

An Exeter District Ambulance paramedic expresses his gratitude after receiving much-needed assistance from a cast of good Samaritans during the aftermath of a head-on collision

EXETER – You don’t have to be a first responder to be a hero – at least, that’s what an Exeter District Ambulance paramedic thinks after he and his team received assistance from nearby witnesses.

On July 2, a head-on collision occurred at 31204 Sierra Drive, just off of Highway 198. The incident involved a SUV carrying a family of three and a mustang, both traveling at high speeds. The paramedic, who preferred to remain anonymous so as to highlight the generosity of the good Samaritans, recounted the incident.

“There were a total of four red tags (indicating four urgent treatments needed) on scene, and some pretty bad injuries,” he said.

Medics arrived at the scene five minutes after the crash occurred, but the true help came in the form of the road’s other occupants. Although law enforcement quickly closed the road, that didn’t stop people nearby from helping out.

“The thing that kind of just got me is that the family (in the accident) was just hugging me and hugging my partners and just saying thank you, but to be completely honest, what other people did as well, it should also be brought to light,” the paramedic said.

While they didn’t provide any medical assistance, they did provide the victims and first responders with shade and refreshments. The paramedic said there were approximately 12 people that lent a helping hand.

“The patients were laying on the asphalt,” he said. “They (the good Samaritans) brought over blankets, which we placed the patients on top of so the contact between the skin and the asphalt wouldn’t be bad. That really helped, because the heat of the road could’ve caused burn injuries.”

The paramedic recalled the temperature being upwards of 110 degrees, making it one of the hottest days of the summer yet. He noted that the assistance even helped him as he was trying to stabilize patients.

“They brought ice to the scene, water bottles for EMS workers, and provided shade for us using blankets and sheets while we worked,” he said.

What surprised the paramedic the most wasn’t how these spontaneous do-gooders provided help, but the fact that they assisted at all.

“Putting their lives in danger and moving them (the victims) out of the way, It’s something that people don’t usually do,” he said. “The first thing they do is start recording, or taking pictures, but these people actually did step up and help.”

After being a 9-1-1 responder for nine years, the paramedic said he has never seen anything quite like it.

“It’s just something you don’t really see,” he said. “People don’t usually do that.”

He reached out to The Sun-Gazette in hopes to shine a light on the dozen or so who rose to the moment and assisted, especially once he realized that he and his colleagues received all the praise when people posted about the accident.

“I just wanted to say thank you, for everything that you guys did,” he said. “They’re the actual heroes for what they did.”

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