Teen helps after crash

Published 10:27 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

A rising college sophomore used her EMT training from the Pruden Center while she was in high school to assist at the scene of a crash on Whaleyville Boulevard early Friday morning.

Sta’sha Waterfield, 19, a 2016 Lakeland High School graduate, was driving home from a Sam Hunt concert when the crash happened right in front of her in the 6300 block of Whaleyville Boulevard.

The crash happened at 1:08 a.m. Waterfield said her first thought was, “Did I really just see what I think I did?”

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She immediately pulled over, called 911 and then got out of her vehicle. The vehicle in the wreck had left the roadway and struck a power pole. The vehicle was occupied by a driver and passenger.

“I got both of them out of the road and a little farther back into the grass in one of the yards,” Waterfield said.

As it turned out, it was a very good thing she had done so.

“Within a minute or two, a tractor-trailer came by and he proceeded to hit the power lines, and they started sparking and flying everywhere,” Waterfield said. “We all started running for our lives, pretty much. We knew if one of us got hit by these wires it wasn’t going to be good.”

The driver of the original vehicle was taken to Sentara Obici Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.

The roadway was closed for the rest of the morning. Along the detour route, yet another crash occurred at 5:43 a.m. when a tractor-trailer left the roadway and partially turned over in a ditch.

Because of the downed power lines, Waterfield wasn’t allowed to get back to her car until about seven hours later. A police officer helped her retrieve her keys and wallet from her car, and she walked the short distance home.

Waterfield, who attends and plays field hockey for Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, said she was glad that traffic held her up on the way back from the concert so that she could help the victims when they needed her.

“I feel blessed that I was able to help them,” she said. “I was the only person on the road besides this car, and if I wasn’t there who knows who would have helped them.”

“God placed me there because he knew I could help these people,” she wrote on Facebook.