Witness and deputy keep accident victim away from flames on Palm Coast Parkway
Shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday night on Palm Coast Parkway, an 18-year-old woman driving a sedan passed a man on a scooter as the two vehicles were heading west. The man, Tyler C. Jacques, 18, was thrown and seriously injured, and the car caught fire near the victim.
Moments later, Christina M. Atwell, 42, a witness who was the first at the crash scene, was assisting the victim and was soon joined by Flagler County Sheriff Austin Darlymple. “I have a man on the ground who is bleeding badly from his head,” Darlymple told dispatchers as he approached the scene, with the car and moped completely engulfed in flames.
“Let’s get him away,” Darlymple said to the Samaritaine, before telling Jacques that they are too close to the fire: “We’re going to have to move you, okay? But before they do, an explosion rips out the flames, immediately prompting them to grab Jacques as he moans in pain, dragging him away from the danger zone. “OK, I’m sorry, I know, we had to pull you away,” the MP told him.
The circumstances of the accident are not yet clear, and the identity of the 18-year-old woman driving the vehicle that struck the scooter has not been disclosed. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. But a sheriff’s spokesperson said from preliminary indications that the woman’s car may be going faster than the scooter and did not see her in time to stop. “She remained at the scene and clearly cooperated with MPs during the investigation,” the spokesperson said of the driver, whom she described as “hysterical” after the accident. Paramedics initially requested an emergency helicopter, but this turned out to be unnecessary.
Atwell stayed by the victim’s side, asking him questions and comforting him. He also answered “a bunch of questions” to the MP, the spokesperson said, “so he was consistent while he was on stage with him, and I guess he was stable enough that they could. transport it by land since they never called a helicopter.
The accident was reported at 11:12 pm The firefighters had water on the fire at 11:19 pm and had “extinguished” it at 11:23 pm, according to 911 notes. Jacques was taken away by the Flagler County Fire Ambulance at the Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach.
“Deputy Dalrymple and Ms. Atwell put their own safety at risk in order to keep the injured man away from the crash and a safe distance from the flames,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “In the body camera footage you can hear the vehicle fire exploding as they pull the man away from the crash site. Their quick and selfless actions may have helped save the life of this injured man.