Winding up a family vacation, we were driving home on an interstate highway in Arkansas, southbound, coming back to Texas. It was a typical summer afternoon with lots of 18-wheelers, and people in cars, pickup trucks and even a few motorcycles.
But, then there was a problem ahead. Cars were pulled over and obviously someone was in trouble. So, I pulled onto the shoulder and walked ahead to see what was going on.
A Honda Goldwing touring motorcycle had blown its rear tire and gone on its side spilling both riders. It had been pulling a trailer and the driver lost control. He was shaken, but able to walk, however his female passenger was on her back—helmet still on her head—crying in pain. We had no idea how bad her injuries were. Emergency responders were needed, but had not arrived, and approaching traffic was stacking.
Bystanders tried to be helpful, but there was not much we could do. The biker wanted to move the lady off the highway, but when he tried, she screamed in pain. I was concerned a car might press on through our lane and cause another accident. So, as we waited for police and an ambulance to arrive, traffic had to be diverted into the left lane. So, I went back to direct traffic.
Now, standing in the middle of a busy traffic lane waving traffic into the other lane was scary, but people cooperated. Eighteen wheelers and cars moved over and slowed down. I didn’t have a cell phone, but since some of the truckers might, I pantomimed dialing 9-1-1 to them and had a few signals of acknowledgement. Later, another man joined me, and it was good to have company out there on that highway. Later, along came EMS and an Arkansas State trooper. We were relieved of our traffic control duties and thanked for our help.
The emergency medical technicians got the lady into the ambulance and she was on her way to an emergency room. We got back in our cars and continued our travels. I don’t think we talked very much for a while.
Sometimes we just have to help each other any way we can. We hoped the lady would recover from her injuries once she was treated. I was happy to do what I could.
WARREN DOMKE is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express.