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My golf pals and I saved a drunk driver’s life today

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Thursday, November 1st, 2007
Categories: LifeMiscellaneous

Man what an insane round of golf today. A client of mine called to golf today, just after two other pals called me. We all decided to meet at Mt. Dell to play before they close for the Winter. Mt. Dell is in Parley’s Canyon, between Salt Lake and Park City, Utah. We were the first group out after a frost delay.

On the 7th tee we heard a crashing noise. I looked through the length of the hole up to the freeway (Interstate 80) and saw a vehicle literally cartwheeling down the hillside. The car had gone off the road and tumbled over a steel retaining wall.

We whipped out the cell phone and immediately dialed 911. Then we jumped in our golf carts and booked toward the trees where the vehicle crashed. I was the first one to get to the vehicle, which was precariously kept from rolling another 100 feet by a snapped off telephone pole and some oak brush.

drunk driver

My friend John jumped on top of the SUV to try and get in via the passenger door. It was jammed. I looked around the front and then my other pal Dave and I broke the branches of the oaks away from the rear door and got the rear door open. I put one foot inside the vehicle and it didn’t seem very sturdy. We smelled gas too. So for a few seconds I debated whether to go in or not. Then John just went right in, risking his own life. He has plenty of experience in doing stuff like this having been a marine in Vietnam.

There was one person in the car, the driver. He was pinned in the car and we were told not to try and move him and to wait until medical help arrived. He was a 52 year old guy from Iowa. He was still conscious but he had obvious broken ribs and a big laceration across his face which was bleeding like crazy. I threw a towel in to John and he stopped the bleeding. The driver was moaning and talking. He said “don’t” when John put the towel on his face and John said “you’re going to bleed to death if I don’t.” To that the driver replied “I’ve got so much alcohol in my system I couldn’t bleed to death.” The vehicle smelled of alcohol and the driver was deliriously talking about drinking and driving. Man oh man. The driver told John he’d been driving for two straight days…

drunk driver
You can see John inside, taking care of the driver…

When the police and medical help arrived they couldn’t get to the wreckage because they were above the retaining wall. It took them another five minutes to go around. John finally got out of the vehicle with the paramedics arrived.

I was the only one who actually saw the wreck. Thanks to finding it quickly and my friend John’s bravery, the guy probably survived. If the frost delay was another five or ten minutes, nobody would have seen the wreck and that guy would have been there for a while before anyone found him. He would have bled to death.

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