Centreville res­i­dents help crash vic­tims

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — Be­ing a good Sa­mar­i­tan is be­com­ing a habit for Jason Hayes of Centreville. Less than 12 hours af­ter he was rec­og­nized with by Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers for aid­ing in the res­cue of a distressed man on the Bay Bridge in May, Hayes found him­self on the scene of an emer­gency in Arnold. Centreville res­i­dent Dal­las Brown, who was driv­ing to work when the in­ci­dent oc­curred, also stopped to help.

About 7:15 a.m. Wed­nes­day,

June 29, a tree fell into Ritchie High­way (Md. Route 2) south, near Chau­tau­gua Road, and struck the front of a 2012 Ford E450 pas­sen­ger van, trap­ping the driver and in­jur­ing two other pas­sen­gers in the ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to the Anne Arun­del County Po­lice Depart­ment.

Driv­ing two cars behind the white Prov­i­dence Cen­ter Inc. van that was struck, Hayes said he saw the tree limb break and fall di­rectly into the wind­shield of the ve­hi­cle. He im­me­di­ately pulled over and ran to help.

“I had to look twice be­cause I saw the limb ac­tu­ally break and I just, lit­er­ally my first thing was, ‘holy s***, are you kid­ding me, again?’” Hayes said. “And just as I’m think­ing that I’m out the door.”

Hav­ing been a paramedic in the Army, Hayes said other peo­ple had stopped to help but did not know what to do, so he be­gan di­rect­ing the com­mu­nity mem­bers be­fore the emer­gency service units ar­rived.

Brown, who has been ac­tive duty in the Coast Guard for 26 years, said he had been an EMT in the past and “just stopped and ren­dered some help,” us­ing the skills he had re­ceived through­out the years, “kind of do­ing what we do, what I’ve been trained to do, I guess.”

The driver, Jason M. Thor­bahn, 57, of Glen Burnie, was trans­ported by a Mary­land State Po­lice helicopter to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Baltimore with in­juries that were se­ri­ous but not be­lieved to be lifethreat­en­ing, ac­cord­ing to Anne Arun­del County Fire Depart­ment. The two pas­sen­gers, Eloise Howard, 76, of Pasadena, and Carolyn Clark, 32, of Sev­erna Park, were trans­ported to Anne Arun­del Med­i­cal Cen­ter with mi­nor in­juries.

Hayes said smoke and flames were com­ing out of the en­gine and the Thor­bahn’s legs were trapped un­der the smashed dash­board the tree had crushed into him. “All I could see is he is bleed­ing pro­fusely. I could see that his arm was cut open, his head was bob­bing back ... I’m check­ing his neck,” Hayes said.

Hayes es­tab­lished con­ver­sa­tion with driver in an at­tempt to keep him awake.

With Brown’s as­sis­tance, Hayes ren­dered first aid. Hayes said while he “tied off his arm to keep his blood in ... Dal­las is hold­ing his neck and try­ing to hold his head straight be­cause the guy is freak­ing out.”

“My ma­jor con­cern was, are we go­ing to blow up be­cause all I can smell in here is the liq­uid and I could smell the gas and I can see the flames flick­ing on the front,” Hayes said.

Anne Arun­del Fire Depart­ment ar­rived and put out the fire. The crew from En­gine 23 was the same one that re­sponded to the man on the bridge in­ci­dent, and the cap­tain rec­og­nized him, Hayes said.

Hayes said he was con­cerned he couldn’t see the driver’s legs be­cause the dash­board was smashed down on them and he was afraid if he was able to lift the dash­board up Thor­bahn was go­ing to bleed out.

Us­ing the “Jaws of Life” af­ter the fire was ex­tin­guished, crews cut the driver out of the van. The fire depart­ment said it took crews about 35 min­utes to get Thor­bahn out, and they im­me­di­ately trans­ported him to a wait­ing Mary­land State Po­lice helicopter that had landed at a nearby church.

Af­ter the fire depart­ment took over at the ve­hi­cle, Hayes said he fo­cused on Clark, who is de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled.

“She was scream­ing, but for some rea­son when I walked by her she grabbed my hand, so I just held her hand,” he said.

Hayes said the woman was non­ver­bal and when paramedics came to as­sist, they had asked Hayes if he could help.

“I stayed with her un­til they put her in the am­bu­lance ... be­cause any time I would go or some­one would ask me to come some­where I couldn’t break hands with her. She was up­set. She just kept look­ing me in the eyes,” Hayes said.

Once Clark was on a stretcher, Hayes said he stayed un­til they put her and her care­taker in the am­bu­lance.

For Hayes, a man who did not want to work in the paramedic field be­cause of his prior ex­pe­ri­ence in the mil­i­tary and was not sure how he would han­dle see­ing blood and gore again, the two in­ci­dents have opened his eyes to what he be­lieves he needs to be do­ing with his life.

“If I were to look any­one in the face right now and say, I’m not go­ing to do this, ei­ther two things: I’m the stu­pid­est man in the en­tire world or I’m a just lazy, lazy, lazy per­son,” Hayes said. “There’s no way any­body can tell me this isn’t the path I need to be go­ing to­wards.”

Hayes plans to pur­sue a ca­reer in paramedics now, he said.

Hayes said the com­mu­nity of Centreville has sup­ported him in many ways and has helped him come out of his shell.

“The big­gest thing is the hum­bling as­pect, es­pe­cially with this hap­pen­ing twice. I don’t want it to come off as I’m this crazy dude with a cape on try­ing to run around and get ac­co­lades from peo­ple. That’s not it at all,” Hayes said. “It’s just I’ve hap­pened to be in these two in­cred­i­ble spots at the right time, and I just feel blessed that I wasn’t in­jured and I was able to as­sist oth­ers.”

PHOTO BY ANNE ARUN­DEL FIRE DEPART­MENT

Centreville res­i­dents Jason Hayes and Dal­las Brown stopped to help vic­tims when their van was struck by a fall­ing tree on Ritchie High­way Wed­nes­day morn­ing, June 29.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

The Queen Anne’s Ciounty Com­mis­sion­ers rec­og­nized Jason Hayes of Centreville and Lt. Kevin Bren­ner with the Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices on June 28 for their hero­ics in help­ing a distressed man on the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bridge in May. From left, Com­mis­sion­ers Steve Wilson, Jack Wilson, Bren­ner, Hayes, and Com­mis­sion­ers Mark An­der­son and Robert Buckey.

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