Good Samaritan: While Others Looked On, His Training Kicked In
By Tom Embrey
In a matter of moments Brian Smith, an employee of the Plumbing Knight in Pinehurst, turned into a white knight for a Hope Mills woman involved in a car accident last Friday.
Smith, who worked in Raleigh as a paramedic for four years while pursuing a career as a professional bowler, was driving north on U.S. 1 around 12:30 p.m. when he noticed an accident involving a truck and an SUV on Midland Road near the U.S. 1 on-ramp.
"I saw people standing around, looking confused," Smith said. "I said to myself, 'Well, this is not good,' and I decided to stop."
Smith assessed the scene and climbed into the back of the SUV to evaluate the condition of a young woman, later identified as 26-year-old Kari Moore of Hope Mills.
"I saw the airbag had deployed, and a lady in the driver's seat, with her knees up, and she was crying hard," he said. "That is when my training kicked in."
It is also about the same time his cellphone accidentally dialed Heather Brady, his dispatcher at the Plumbing Knight.
Brady didn't think anything was out of the ordinary when her phone began to ring.
"His phone calls back here a lot," Brady said. "That is just Brian. Other guys, it happens once a month. With Brian it is pretty much once a day."
But when Brady answered the call, she realized right away that something was going on.
"When I answered the phone, he was talking to someone," Brady said. "I could hear him very calmly asking someone questions, then I could hear him getting into a car."
As Brady and three others listened, Smith, unaware of his newest audience, worked to stabilize the woman's neck and provide necessary care until emergency responders arrived.
"I was just doing the best I could do to calm her down, prevent further injuries and hope somebody would get there," he said.
When responders hadn't arrived after a while, Smith said he asked those standing around if anyone had called 911. No one had. Smith had another person dial 911 and then took over the call after the bystander was unable to provide the dispatcher the location.
Mike Cameron, deputy fire chief in Southern Pines, said when first responders arrived on the scene, Smith was in the back of the vehicle caring for Moore.
"He was doing a good job," Cameron said. "When most people happen upon an accident scene, they don't know what to do. He did."
Moore was transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional. A hospital spokesperson said Monday that Moore was no longer a patient there.
A police report on the incident indicated that Moore was traveling east on Midland Road when a pickup truck, stopped at the stop sign on the northbound U.S. 1 off-ramp at Midland Road, pulled foward, attempting to make a left-hand turn. Moore's SUV hit the truck in the driver's side.
The driver of the truck, Jared Scott Fuller, 34, of Asheboro, was treated at the scene. He was cited for failure to yield.
Smith left the scene and headed to his next job. He said two things weighed on his mind after the incident.
"I worried about her, because I didn't know the extent of her injuries," Smith said.
At the end of the day, Smith returned to the office, having no idea his co-workers had listened to his good deed.
"I was kind of embarrassed," he said. "I felt like I had some explaining to do because I was parked with the truck for so long."
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tem brey @thepilot.com.
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