Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Are you really ready? Long
Are you really ready? Long
Thu, 29 Oct 1998 20:16:07 -0800
-- Hi all,
I just got to brag a little on the Troop that I'm with. This
past Sunday, While returning from a weekend backpacking trip, myself and
5 other leaders, and 10 of our Scouts were put to the test. We were
traveling in 4 separate vehicles, when several pickups with dirt bikes
passes us at a high rate of speed. To our amazement, just like on Real
TV, one of the drivers lost control of his truck. It served several
times, then flipped 3 or 4 times. The driver was not wearing a seat
belt, so he was thrown from the vehicle. The truck missed all of the
other vehicles on the road, and ended up in the oncoming fast lane. The
driver landed about 40 feet from his truck in the oncoming slow lane.
All of the leaders in the troop, stopped and took control of the scene.
I was the first to get to the driver on the road. Needless to say it
was a mess. A second young man was a passenger, but was wearing a seat
belt and stayed in the truck. He climbed out through the windshield,
with minor injuries. In the mean time myself and 2 other leaders were
attending to the 18 year old driver. He had severe head and face
injuries, and was bleeding profusely. I checked him over for any other
injuries. I didn't want to move him for fear of neck or back injuries.
I didn't have time to wait for gloves, so I just start taking care of
him. I have never had to deal with so much blood. He had broken his
front teeth off in the pavement, and bit off his lips on the inside of
his mouth. He also had a bad gash in his head. I applied direct
pressure to the wound on his head, but could do nothing for his mouth
and nose. I could not apply any bandage, because he was breathing out
of what was left. In the meantime, the other 3 leaders were trying to
control traffic and secure the scene, along with 3 of our older Scouts.
One of the older Scouts was left in charge of our younger Scouts off the
freeway clear of traffic. This was a 4 lane highway, so a lot of
traffic got stopped quick. Debris from the truck covered all 4 lanes,
and the injured boys were in two of them. We had lots of people trying
to get 911 on their cell phones, but no one could get through. It just
so happened, that the CA CHP 911 system had shorted out that morning in
our first rain of the season. 20 minutes went by before the first CHP
just happened to come by. He radioed for help.
Now there were 4 of us trying to keep this young man from moving
and trying to control the bleeding. He was stronger then the 4 of us.
He was incoherent and in and out of consciousness and very combative. I
really couldn't believe how much blood this kid was losing. I thought
for sure he was going to die while I was holding his head. I had to use
so much strength to keep his head to the side, that I was totally
exhausted after the ordeal. I had to keep his head to the side to keep
him from drowning. It was 1 hour later before the first rescue vehicle
arrived on the scene. and another 20 minutes, before a medivac
While all this was happening, I had time to look around and see,
that all us Scout leaders really had our stuff together. The CHP
officer was really grateful for the assistance. Our 3 older Scouts, did
a really great job, and the younger Scouts got a first hand
demonstration on Emergency Prep, (from a distance)
Something that really bothered me during this ordeal, was the
total disregard and lack of wanting to get involved, from so many
people. Before our leaders were able to get the scene under control,
people were just driving over the debris and stuff in the highway.
People told our leaders to get out of the way they were in a hurry. On
top of that some of the people that came to gualk at the boy, actually
told me that I was pretty dumb having all his blood on my hands and arms
with no gloves. One person told me I just better let him lay there
until proper help arrived.
Personally, I was surprised that he lived so long, the way he
was bleeding, and that was with us trying to control it. If we had not,
he would have laid there and bled to death.
This boy was 18 years old. I have a son just turning 17. I
pray, that nothing like this will ever happen to him, but I hope that
someone like us is willing to stop and help.
I realize, that I choose to allow myself, and the other leaders
did the same, to put ourselves at risk to Aids. That was our decision,
and I guess if its in my cards I'll get Aids, but I really believe that
our group was behind schedule that day for a reason, and that was to
save a young mans life.
When the first rescue vehicle arrived, the fireman saw that I
was covered in blood, and he thought I was an ambulance driver. He
chewed my butt out for not having gloves on. When he realized I was a
Scout leader he apologized and helped me get cleaned off and got me some
solution to put on to sanitize my hands and arms. I have since then
also had a blood test.
The good part of this story, is that the young man is still
alive, although still in ICCU. His brain has swollen and now it's a
matter of time to see what happens. His CAT Scan revealed that he had
no broken bones and his skull was not fractured. He did require
immediate surgery to rebuild his lips, and he still faces having all the
broken teeth removed. He still has a long way to go, but with prayers
he should make it.
I know this is long, but I needed to get this off my mind.
Thomas Lynch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Land of Four Seasons
Vigil (Nimenees) W/B Bobwhite & Staffer
Silver Beaver & many years left for Scouting
Assistant S/M Troop 135, Tehachapi, CA
Southern Sierra Council, Trailblazer District