ALTUS, Okla. (KFOR) – Quick action by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper likely saved a woman’s life after her hand was severed in a crash.
Trooper Jeff Fielder was parked and watching traffic in Altus when he witnessed a woman’s car smash into the back of a pickup’s trailer.
“Honestly it took me just about a moment to really process – ‘Did I really just see this?’” Fielder said.
He rushed over to the crash, and when he got to her, she initially seemed okay and coherent.
However, he quickly saw something she didn’t. The woman’s left hand was nearly completely severed by the impact. He said he didn’t think she could see past the debris in front of her.
“My first thought was like, ‘You need to stay calm so she doesn’t know something’s wrong,’” he said.
So in an effort to keep her from panicking, he kept it to himself.
“’How would I want my loved ones to be treated in this very moment,’” he said, describing his mentality in that moment. “That’s kind of my approach when I’m working a crash is, like, be as sympathetic as possible, and caring, nurturing, to the best that I can.”
The trooper called for a medical chopper to be ready from his car, and grabbed a tourniquet from the backseat.
He applied it to her upper arm to stop her from bleeding out.
“I just told her, ‘I’m going to put something on your arm; it’s going to be better for you,’” Fielder said. “And she said, ‘Okay, okay.’”
It was a move OHP officials said ultimately saved her life.
“I’m very strong in my faith, and I definitely just feel like God puts us in the right spot at the right times,” Fielder said. “And I feel like if that were the case, that I was able to be there within seconds of that happening. So it’s an honor for me and definitely humbling.”
The woman couldn’t be reached Friday for comment. The trooper hopes the crash and its consequences will remind motorists to pay attention while driving.