‘Nobody’s Dying Today’
Nursing assistant Katelyn Losquadro stopped to help an injured driver of a single-car accident. That decision changed both of their lives.
(page 2 of 6)
It was just after midnight when Losquadro approached the single-car accident. With few other cars on the highway, she had a clear view of the scene. The battered Jetta was impaled on the guardrail, smoking. Outside, a group had assembled. Gault’s friends had emerged from the car and were calling 911 when she arrived. A couple had pulled over on the side of the highway, and the man was trying to pull Gault through the driver’s window. That could be a terrible mistake, Losquadro thought. A certified nursing assistant, she had been a caretaker for much of her life. If his back was broken, she realized, he could end up paralyzed. She pulled to a stop behind the car and turned on her high beams. “Is everyone alive?” she asked. The passengers seemed unscathed, but as she looked into the car she could tell that the driver was in bad shape. “He was pale as a ghost,” Losquadro recalls. She saw that his leg had been severed. Blood was pumping out fast, filling the car with a smell that reminded her of pennies.
“Oh my God, oh my God!” she remembers Gault shouting. “Where’s my leg? Where’s my leg?”
He seemed to be in too much shock to feel the pain, Losquadro says, but he was conscious and combative. He pounded the steering wheel. “My parents are going to kill me,” she remembers him saying. In a few hours, Gault told her, his mother and father were scheduled to catch an early-morning flight to the Dominican Republic. She worried that he would bleed to death before his parents heard about the accident. The more he pounded the steering wheel, Losquadro explained, the faster he could bleed out. “Let’s just focus on keeping you alive and keeping you calm,” she said.
“My leg is gone!” she remembers him yelling over and over. Still wearing her navy-blue scrubs from work, she tucked Gault’s face into her shoulder to keep him from looking at his injury, lifted his injured leg as high as she could to elevate the wound and slow the bleeding, kept his spine immobilized in case it was broken, and tried to calm him in order to slow his heart rate and reduce blood loss.
“I’m going to die,” she remembers him saying.
“Nobody’s dying today,” she told him. “Just relax.”
If this kid is going to die by the side of the road, she thought, I don’t want him to die alone.