Recruiters aid crash victim in Nevada
August 7, 2013
RENO, Nev. (Aug. 7, 2013) -- Two Nevada Army recruiters were headed back to their office to finish up what had been a rather uneventful day when they ended up aiding in the effort to help keep a young man alive.
Staff Sgt. Darek Blasey and Sgt. Erin Bouligny, of the Reno Recruiting Center, were almost back to their office April 30 when suddenly, a group of motorcyclists came racing down the street - quickly changing the recruiters' day from standard to startling.
As the group of motorcyclists tore down busy Virginia Street darting dangerously in and out of the city traffic, one rider ended up paying dearly for taking such a risk.
The speeding cyclist crashed into an SUV, which had made a legal turn ino the cyclist's path. Blasey and Bouligny watched the motorcyclist fly past their vehicle and the immediate, imminent collision.
Moving at an estimated 70 mph, the motorcycle smashed into the rear passenger side of the nearly stopped car, according to the recruiters. The driver of the bike impacted the back window of the vehicle with the face portion of his helmet so hard he shattered the entire window. The momentum of the impact forced the motorcycle under the back portion of the SUV ripping the gas tank from the motorcycle and nearly splitting the bike in two.
"At first, we thought he was dead as hard as he hit," said Blasey. "Everybody there thought he was dead -- his bike was pretty much torn in half."
One fortunate scenario in an otherwise bleak moment, was that the crash happened in a busy area and several people, including Blasey and Bouligny rushed to aid the fallen rider.
"When I ran over to the guy, I noticed his helmet visor was broken off and the helmet was basically cracked down the middle," said Blasey. "He didn't look like he was breathing, and I saw he also had a compound fracture of his right forearm."
When the crash victim suddenly started convulsing Blasey along with another gentleman held the rider down.
"We cut away some of his clothes to check for other life-threatening injuries. We wanted to make sure there was no more bleeding or other injuries that were more severe," said Blasey.
Blasey and the gentleman checked the victim for injuries and kept him still until the police, fire department and ambulance showed up about 20 minutes later.
The other racers had long abandoned their fellow rider, but both soldiers and several civilians --all strangers to the man -- stayed alongside him until he was finally prepared to be transported to a hospital.
Looking back on the incident, Blasey said he was thankful for the Army training he'd received because it helped him keep calm and focus on caring for the injured rider.
"I started going through the Army basic first-aid training-steps in my mind. I literally started saying out loud the things we learn to check for: Responsiveness, breathing, bleeding, shock, etc."
Bouligny, who had tried to avoid any attention regarding the incident, simply said: "I'm glad I was there to serve our community and our country."
Blasey, 24, and Bouligny, 31, are both assigned to Sacramento Battalion's Sierra Nevada Company.