Last week, In Family, Friends, and Staying Centered I talked about how strange it is that my husband often seems to come across emergency situations.
Yesterday, it happened again!
While out running some errands, we decided to take a short cut through a residential neighborhood. Once our car turned the corner, it took a second for my eyes to realize what they were seeing. My mouth dropped open and I said “Oh my gosh, look Ryan! There’s a car in that house!”
There was a man standing in front of the damaged house on a cell phone. It was clear he wasn’t the driver. We asked him if he was on the phone with 911 and he shook his head yes.
Apparently, we had drove in right after the car hit the house. The man on the cell phone said he saw the car make a sharp turn into the neighborhood, never putting on the breaks, ultimately slamming right into the side of the house.
The house was empty, but the driver was was still inside the car. And to make matters [much] worse; during the crash the green SUV had hit the gas meter. Resulting in large amounts of natural gas to begin spraying out. It was making a scary hissing sound, and the smell started to become overwhelming. Thoughts of the recent gas fires in California filled my mind. Where a whole subdivision was destroyed by something just like this.
Ryan yelled out to the man on the phone, “He hit a gas line! We need to tell everyone to get away from the car.” He started alerting all of the neighbors, knocking on doors, letting them know they need to get out of the area.
I drove our car down to the end of the street. I knew that Ryan would do all that he could for the situation. My biggest concern was getting out of the way, and to make sure that our son was safe. I of course, called my Dad –> 1.) Because that’s what I do when I’m afraid. 2.) Because I knew that he would know about gas lines and all that stuff. And 3.) Because I had to tell someone about the crazy situation that was going on right in front of me.
Very concerned for the man inside; Ryan was not sure how to go about getting near the car. Unsure what might set it off. Emergency services had still not arrived. He knew there was no way he could just stand around and do nothing while there was someone trapped in that car.
He went up to the passenger side of the car, and asked the man sitting in the driver’s seat, if he was alright. Gas was still hissing out loud enough that needed to raise his voice when he spoke to him.
It was an older man, his face bloody from where the airbag had deployed. Ryan asked him questions, trying to judge if he was fully conscious. He said “Yes, I’m okay, but I'm not sure what happened here.” pointing to the airbag.
After telling him “Sir, you were in an accident but you’re gonna be just fine.” He asked the injured man, if he was able to climb out.
He again started saying that he wasn’t sure what happened, pointed to his cane and went to turn off the car. Terrified that might trigger an explosion Ryan told him to stop, and not to turn off the car.
With all the factors involved, there was no way he could get him out. All he could do was hope that help got there soon.
At that point, we could hear news helicopters circling the area.
When the fire trucks started to arrive, there was a large crowd gathering outside of the home.
The gas company dug up the gas line and shut it off- (which resulting the the neighborhood being without gas for quite some time.) They blocked off the street with bright orange cones, and yellow caution tape, telling everyone to step back and leave the area if possible.
Because the man could not get out on his own, they ended up having to pull him out of the passenger side door. Where he was then taken to the hospital. We later found out the man suffered from mini strokes. They believe that may have been the reason for the crash.
What a scary way to start the day! I’m so glad there was no explosion, and that the man was not seriously hurt. I’m also so proud of my husband for always stepping up and being the hero, even if that means putting himself in danger.