My hubby is a lot of things.. a hard worker, a great dad and husband. He's handy with tools, he can fix cars and he's even a really good poker player.. However, today he added a new adjective to the list.. He's a Hero..
Today around 2:00 on a typical drive down the 15 his hawk eyes were on full alert.. He saw a trailer as it lost control and propelled it and the Expedition that is was attached to in to the air.. It was a surreal experience.. I heard him say "No, No, that is not good".. I looked up from my book to see a ball of debris about 2 car lengths ahead.. Martin was breaking hard and trying to keep the car in a safe spot.. I was confused and worried.. I could see cars swerving and breaking all around it us.. The Expedition rolled on the highway and landed in the 2 middle lanes..Next thing I know Martin has stopped the car completely in the fast lane! He puts it in park and says call for help.. In a second he is running out into the road towards the car.. I look at my phone.. I literally stare at it and then my brain kicks in.. 911... It seems to take forever to answer but it was only 3 rings... I can only assume how many others were trying to call in.. Thankfully I got through..
I get out of the car and I see several others in their cars frozen.. some people were on the side of the road but not able to walk closer..Some more men race out.. I hear "we need a knife".. I yell toward the cars behind me and yell out "we need a knife" The dispatcher is talking to me, says stay safe.. I say I am worried about their safety not mine.. she asks for more details.. I give her name, the bridge sign the location and anything else I can think of.. I see other people on their phones, I yell out "I have them on the line.. Hang up!"
An older man walks forward, " I have one, I have a knife." Martin would later tell me that he needed the knife to cut the seatbelt off the driver..
Everyone is working together.. Some of the people start picking up the debris, there are others trying to pull the trailer onto the shoulder.. It literally looked like a tornado blew on the highway.. All four lanes were a mess.. People from the north bound side are pulled over looking. I am still on the phone with the highway patrol describing the scene.
I keep checking on Maya in the car while looking for Martin..I don't see him. I worry about a fire starting but I can't walk to the car since I am still on the line and I am trying to stay within eye shot of Maya.. My heart is racing.. I am listening but still don't hear sirens.. The 15 is a complete parking lot.. I see a man in front of me asking if I got through. I told him I was on and he explained how that was his friend and he was honking at him trying to tell him that the trailer was shaking too much but he couldn't get his attention.. He is shaking his head. He is picking up the debris and walking back and forth to the car..
A few more mins go by... I hear the people near the car saying the person is out.. I am looking for Martin and I don't see him. I look in the back seat, thankfully Maya is still asleep.. We kept the car and music on out of instinct and it served to keep her in the lulled sleep she enjoys so much..
After I hang up I have no choice but to stay near the car.. I keep scanning the scence.. People are taking pictures and just staring.. I want to do something. I feel helpless and useless.. I see a few men urging people to clean up the lanes.. I start directing the cars to the first and 4th lane since now the debris is mostly pushed to the farthest point of the shoulder and cars can pass.. Some cars start to manuever through.. I decide to move the car to the shoulder so that we can make room for the moving cars.. I still don't see Martin.. I know he is on the other side of the car but haven't seen him.. Never has 20 feet felt so distant..
In a few mins I see Martin out in the road in front of me. He is scanning the scene.. He is talking as he walks.. He climbs in the car looking for a rag.. he has blood on his arms.. He doesn't even flinch.. He just says that everything is ok and we should get out of the way.. I am so tahnkful our family is intact.. The person is safe and no one else was hurt.. Martin says he sees the fire department.. Off we go...
He fills in the blanks as we drive.. The adrenaline in my body is making me weak. I want to cry.. I ask him what happened on his end.. He explained how he pulled the person out by crawling in.. He said the man was strapped in and being held by the seatbelt. He said he had asked for the knife to cut him out and how he was upset that he didn't have his swiss army with him when he needed it.. The man was conscious and spoke to him.. He had a cut on his head but other than that he didnt have any outward signs of injury.. He said the man wanted to get up by he told him to lay down until the ambulance arrived.. He says this as casually as he describes a poker hand. I look at his clothes and its just slightly dusty, his shorts have a small splatter of blood.. I try to find some napkins to clean his hands but find only a package of dried out wipes.. He tells me he managed to wipe the blood off his arm with something from the car but he still has some on his hands.. There is a small scrape on his knee.. he dismisses it..
It hits me how amazing it was.. He didn't freak out, he didn't panic or drive away. He just pulled up and did what he had to do..he helped a person who needed help.. He didn't think of the danger or the risk to himself.. As I look in the back seat at a still sleeping Maya I was so relieved.. I was crossing myself and saying silent prayers..I was still in slight shock but mostly grateful.. He saved a child's father, another woman's husband (Martin told me there was a car seat in the back of the car). A little prayer goes out to that family..
Today he was meant to be there to help.. Thank God he was..
Today like every day, I thank God for my husband..