By Karen A. Iwamoto, Hawaii Army WeeklyMarch 23, 2017
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Two Soldiers from Company A of the 715th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, are being recommended for Soldier's Medals for their roles in helping save the life of a tow truck driver who had been hit by a vehicle on Lyman Road in February.
Capt. Benjamin Huzzey of Co. A, 715th MI Bn., who made the recommendations, said he was grateful his Soldiers were there to respond to the call of duty to assist on the morning of Feb. 23.
"Undoubtedly, their military training and experience assisted them in their timely response to what was a very serious situation," he said.
Sgt. Timothy Sirko went to pick up Spc. Tyler Gardiner on the morning of Feb. 23 because Gardiner had been rear-ended by another vehicle on Lyman Road and needed a ride.
Gardiner had not been injured in the incident, and the police had already taken a report and left. The tow truck driver had arrived at the scene to tow his car.
At around 6:30 a.m., according to the Soldiers, they heard tires squealing, a loud crash and a man screaming. Gardiner ran to Sirko and told him to help. Sirko rushed to the tow truck driver, Valentino Tua, who had been hit by a passing vehicle.
Gardiner said Sirko assessed the situation and took action to help the injured tow truck driver while a bystander called 911.
Sirko noticed Tua appeared to be trying to move his legs, but they were clearly broken. He and Gardiner dragged him to a patch of grass about 10 feet away from the road and applied digital pressure to the his groin area to stop the bleeding.
Gardiner assisted Sirko by rubbing Tua's sternum and asking him questions to keep him conscious until the ambulance arrived.
Sirko has remained in touch with Tua's family, offering support in the aftermath of the ordeal.
Tua's wife, Nani Tua, said her husband had to have his right leg amputated and remains in critical condition.
"He's fighting to keep his other leg," she said. "There's nothing we can do but just hope that he pulls through."
Nani Tua, who is pregnant with her husband's first child, said she is grateful for the support of Sirko, who has visited her husband at the hospital.
"I just really want people to take into consideration that tow truck drivers are just trying to clear the road and keep people safe," she said. "Just take into consideration they have to do it even if it's not in a safe location.
"If your car broke down, they're the ones who would come and try to help you, try to get the road clear again," she explained. "I just wish people thought about it like that."
According to the Honolulu Police Department, the case is still under investigation, and no arrests have been made at this time.