OOIDA member helps motorist who was pinned under his vehicle

March-April 2020

Chuck Robinson

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Last November, Charles Jasewicz was about 10 miles east of Tucumcari, N.M., on Interstate 40 when he saw a vehicle a short distance off the road. Abandoned vehicles are common along that stretch of highway, so he wasn’t alarmed at first.

“I wasn’t going to stop. I was going to pass it by, but then I saw legs,” Jasewicz told Land Line.

The engine was still running, and the driver was pinned underneath. He was kicking his legs screaming for help. Contents of the vehicle were strewn over the area.

“It must have cartwheeled and ejected him,” said Jasewicz, an OOIDA member who drives for Amherst, Wis.,-based H.O. Wolding.

Jasewicz turned off the vehicle. He couldn’t find a jack and couldn’t lift the vehicle off the driver by himself. He was able to lift it enough to ease pressure on the driver, though.

A team of Old Dominion Freight Line drivers saw the wreck scene and Jasewicz struggling. They stopped and helped to lift the car enough so that Jasewicz could wedge a spare tire underneath the car’s bumper to take pressure off the victim’s neck.

First responders arrived on the scene some 30 minutes later and pulled the victim free from the vehicle. Jasewicz later called the hospital in Tucumcari to find out if the victim was expected to survive.

In January, Jasewicz received a Highway Angel award from the Truckload Carriers Association. The program acknowledges drivers who displayed exemplary kindness, courtesy and courage while on the job. LL

 

 

Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.