by Karen McBeth
Oskaloosa, Iowa, USA
About a year ago my teenage granddaughter Sarah and three of her friends drove 20 miles to a small town where there is a teen hangout called “Oggie’s”. Sarah was fifteen at the time. Driving on their return trip home, as they crested a hill they saw a pickup and a van hit head on. All the teenagers panicked except Sarah, who took charge.
The teenager who was driving always carries a cell phone, so Sarah called 911 to get help. She then sent the other kids to the top of the hill to warn other motorists. She checked the older couple in the van that was involved and decided they were both dead. She then checked on the young girl driving the pickup truck, and found her to be alive. Unfortunately, she was stuck in the pickup and couldn’t get out. Sarah knew she was hurt pretty badly.
Sarah had just taken a first aid class at high school, and it kept coming back to her to not let this girl go into shock. She stayed with her, remembering that the thing to do was keep her talking, which she did until the Highway Patrol arrived. The Patrolman was very complimentary to Sarah. He asked her to keep doing what she was doing until the ambulance came. He later told Sarah that her actions had probably saved the girl’s life.
The teenagers she had sent up the hill to warn oncoming cars away from the accident stopped three vehicles that could have added to the accident. One car was being driven by an older couple who were returning from their granddaughter’s wedding. This couple was so thankful that the kids went out of their way to protect their safety they now have this entire group of teenagers over for pizza every month!
Sarah went to the hospital to visit the girl who had been trapped in the pickup truck, having no idea how startled the girl would be to see her. “You are real!” the girl exclaimed when she first saw Sarah. “I remember being stuck in the truck, with a beautiful angel with a sweet voice telling me to hang on.” She also said her angel had a halo. Sarah had to tell her that she’d been wearing a glow-in-the-dark ring in her hair, which she had won that night in a contest at Oggie’s.
After taking extensive therapy, the young girl who was trapped in the pickup truck is back to living her life again. For this gal, and for the drivers of the vehicles stopped at the top of the hill, Sarah’s calm actions made a huge difference. One thing is for sure: the group of people affected by Sarah’s actions that night will always remember that teens can and do make positive contributions to their community.
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 2.