They say in times of crisis, people show their true colors.
When an SUV crashed on a Mississippi Interstate Saturday, many passersby stopped in the middle of their busy days to help.
Among them was a retired Los Angeles firefighter named Rick Camarena, the Sun Herald reported. He immediately thought of his training in trauma care and knew he could help the car crash victims.
And sadly, his expertise was sorely needed. The Lincoln SUV crashed when it left the exit ramp off Interstate 110 and flipped several times, D’Iberville Deputy Chief Clay Jones said. The vehicle came to rest near an overpass.
Inside the car: one adult driver and five children. The scene was frightening, according to Camarena’s description.
“I saw five kids ejected.”
Two other people, young sisters Morgan, 20, and Mady, 15, Bogolin, were on their way to Mobile when they came across the car crash and pulled over to help wherever they could.
Police are continuing to investigate the crash and there was no information available on the conditions of the victims. The car was extensively damaged — reports indicate its front seat and roof were both crushed.
But the accident is getting national attention for the act of one person — a volunteer firefighter who responded to the scene, named Casey Lessard.
His small act of kindness was captured on camera and posted online, and has now gone viral.
In the photo, one of the young children injured in the crash is lying on the ground on a stretcher, covered in a blanket, a restraint across his forehead.
And there is Casey, laying alongside him on the asphalt, propping up his smartphone with a gloved hand so that the child could see the screen.
He was playing the animated film about dancing penguins, Happy Feet, on the cell phone in order to help calm and distract the child.
The tender act is touching and intimate, but it’s par for the course for firefighters like Lessard. He was just doing his job, said D’Ibervile Fire Capt. Darren Peterson
“The kids … we do whatever we can to calm them down. The video calmed him down instantly.”
The act garnered some kudos online via both Facebook and Twitter. Among them, Dean Richards tweeted “Never stop thanking these brave, compassionate men and women for all they do,” and Lisa Renee Jones, who posted “This man is obviously right where he needs to be in life. This is going above saving and treating. This is caring. Definitely what we need more of in the world.”
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]