Already made a difference

Published 9:31 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

When Suffolk sends its graduates off to college, we hope that one day they will come back home and make their city a better place. We send them away with expectations that they will someday return and start businesses that employ many of their fellow citizens, with hopes that they’ll come back and pastor churches that change their communities, with dreams that they will make their homes here again in the future and teach a new generation that will then turn around and continue the cycle.

But one Suffolk graduate didn’t wait for her college graduation to come back and make a big difference.

Sta’sha Waterfield, 19, a 2016 Lakeland High School graduate and a member of the field hockey team at Queens University of Charlotte, found herself in a frightening situation early Friday morning as she returned home from a concert during her summer break.


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Waterfield had been at a Sam Hunt concert earlier in the evening and was headed home on Whaleyville Boulevard a little after 1 a.m., when she saw the vehicle in front of her run off the road and into a power pole.

Thinking quickly, Waterfield pulled over, called 911 and hurried over to the wrecked vehicle. She then pulled the two occupants clear of the crash and into a nearby yard. Within a couple of minutes, a passing tractor trailer hit the downed power lines, and things got scary, indeed, as the wires started sparking and jumping in the darkness.

“We all started running for our lives, pretty much,” Waterfield told the Suffolk News-Herald’s Tracy Agnew. “We knew if one of us got hit by these wires it wasn’t going to be good.”

If Waterfield had not moved so quickly, things could have been very bad for the two occupants of the vehicles — or for herself.

Waterfield said she was glad that traffic held her up on the way back from the concert so 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.

Her assessment seems an appropriate one. We are proud of this young lady from Suffolk for her quick thinking, her selfless actions and her humility. And we’re glad she came back home for the summer break. She already has made a difference for her community.