Spc. Robert Hunter, a member of the 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion, was on his way home from a grocery store in Laurel recently when he saw a man on the side of the road trying to get someone to stop.
“It had been raining pretty bad,” Hunter recalled. “It probably rained for 20 minutes straight, so I hung around the store waiting for it to stop. I noticed this guy waving people down and then I saw that a tree was pretty much split in half and the fence next to it was taken out.”
Hunter said the man indicated that there were accident victims down an embankment.
“One of the kids was standing there; he had blood all over him,” Hunter said. “The other one was laying on the ground on the other side of the vehicle, totally unconscious.”
Hunter added that the unconscious victim was unresponsive to everything. He was also bleeding, had a weak pulse and difficulty breathing.
At that point, Hunter took charge of the situation, providing immediate first aid.
“None of them really knew what to do, so I just kind of helped guide them through what to do, what to look out for,” he said. “I told them to keep an eye on his breathing as I looked him over for any kind of broken bones or anything like that.
“I had the others stabilize his neck, just because we didn’t know what had happened at that point.
“The other guy, his forehead was split open pretty bad. Other than that, he was just kind of dazed and confused. He was in shock. So I had them sit him down and look him over just to get a feel for what had happened.”
In this high-stress situation, Hunter said, assisting and applying first aid came naturally.
“We practice a lot of first aid,” the intelligence analyst said. “Every unit I’ve been at, we’ve done a lot of first aid training. It’s always done at some sort of training event, whether it takes place in the field or the classroom.”
Another reason Hunter may not have been feeling the pressure: he was in a similar situation at his last assignment.
“I was in Hawaii; she [the driver] hit a truck of some sort,” he said. “She ended up with a broken hip and stuck in the car.”
Hunter stayed with the victim of that accident until emergency services personnel arrived.
At the recent accident in Laurel, Hunter said emergency services showed up about 15 minutes after he arrived on the scene. At that point he continued to assist, helping to place the unconscious passenger into the ambulance.
After the ambulance arrived, Hunter also directed bystander actions to keep people out of harm’s way and prevent another accident.
Both accident victims are recovering from their injuries.
Since the accident, Hunter said he has been contacted by their family members.
“Both their moms have called me,” Hunter said. “They were very thankful, but I don’t feel like I really did a lot. I really don’t.”