Would you Drive Toward an Accident on the Highway?
Most people see an accident on the highway and either slow down to look at the aftermath or move as far away as possible. Not Dorn Norbury and Paul Roberts, splicing technicians in Tustin, California.
As they drove in rush hour traffic at the end of the day, they saw dust and debris flying through the air. Ahead of them a vehicle had flipped over and landed back on all four wheels.
Paul and Dorn jumped into action. Recalling what they'd learned in numerous company safety courses, they parked in the carpool lane to keep traffic away from the accident site. Dorn called 911 while Paul jumped out to take care of the injured driver.
Paul gave the driver's name, age and condition to Dorn to relay to the 911 operator. He also checked under the truck to ensure nothing was leaking. Then, he ran back to his truck for tools to pry open the door.
Once off the phone, Dorn provided gloves to several other helpers who had arrived, including a couple of nurses in scrubs who pulled over to assist. The victim's external wounds seemed superficial, but he was clearly dazed.
The man was trapped in his crushed car. Paul worked hard to get the door open while Dorn set cones to divert traffic further away from the accident.
Once nurses went to work on the driver with the first aid kit, Paul and Dorn turned their attention to the accident scene.
"We wanted to make it safe for vehicles to merge into traffic and also provide a clear path for emergency vehicles," Dorn said.
"The guy had a load in the back of his truck," Paul said. "We picked up kids' toys, shovels and random personal items to clear one of the blocked lanes for traffic."
Emergency crews arrived about 10 minutes later after battling the rush hour traffic. Fire, highway patrol and traffic control officials took over the accident scene.
"We were at the right place at the right time," said Dorn.
El Paso, Texas
Every morning, Dave Warner, a field engineer in El Paso, Texas, participates in a huddle with at least five minutes dedicated to safety. This training was put to good use in the aftermath of a dangerous highway crash.
“AT&T is so safety conscious,” Dave said. “The company prepared me for this.”
Dave was driving to a cell site job when he saw smoke. The vehicles in front of him slammed on the brakes. One by one the cars drove around the crashed car. The driver was collapsed over his deployed air bag. Dave knew he needed help. He put on his four-way flashers and pulled to the guard rail.
As Dave approached the crash, the driver staggered out of the car. He was in shock with a large head wound.
As Dave applied pressure to the head wounds with gauze from his first aid kit, the driver’s vehicle caught on fire.
A few other drivers came forward from the stalled traffic to help. A nurse took over to render aid. Dave and the other female first responder donned AT&T safety vests to put out cones and divert traffic away from the smoldering accident.
The police arrived and the ambulance arrived 25 minutes later due to traffic for miles on both sides of the highway. Dave helped them load the victim.
Dave spent more than two hours at the crash scene. Before the police released him, they thanked him for taking the initiative to block traffic.