CASSTOWN — After Miami East High School students stopped to honor their local veterans for their service, local first responders and one lucky man stopped to thank two students who came to his aid following a serious accident last September.
David Garrison, 57, aided by a medical scooter, personally thanked Jordan Crawford and McKenna Bollinger, both juniors, who stopped and helped him move away from a fiery crash on State Route 41 on Sept. 29.
Garrison lost control of the vehicle, veered off the roadway and struck a culvert at the intersection of State Route 41 and Hufford Road and suffered a severe broken ankle from which he is still recovering.
Garrison was joined by his wife Zlata to help thank the two teens who stopped to help him move away from the scene of the accident.
“It’s good to be here,” Garrison told the students. “I just want to thank the EMS crew, the fire department for helping me and I’ll never forget the first guy on the scene — Jordan.”
Garrison shared the tense minutes following the accident when he realized passers-by weren’t able to see him in the low ditch.
“There were a few cars that had driven by me but didn’t see me because I was below road level,” Harrison explained. “It was probably about five minutes — but it seemed like an eternity — and finally Jordan caught my eye and I caught his and he stopped, dialed 9-1-1 and pulled me to safety.”
Crawford said he was headed home from school to prepare for weight lifting for his hockey team when he came across the accident scene.
“I just saw him waving me down in the ditch. So I just pulled over thinking he was stuck in the ditch, but then saw it was more serious than that. I was already there and had to get him out at that point,” Crawford said. “McKenna saw my car and she stopped and helped hold him up to get him out.”
Crawford said the recognition at school was a complete surprise, but appreciated being able to see Garrison again.
Bollinger said she saw Crawford’s car at the scene and thought her classmate was in trouble.
“I pulled over to see if Jordan needed help and he was on the other side waving me down,” Bollinger said. “So I ran over there and Jordan yelled ‘Help me get him’ so we both got him out. I’m just glad (Garrison) is OK.”
The teens were recognized for their efforts by the following organizations: Trustee Greg Dilts on behalf of Elizabeth Township Trustees with a special proclamation; Chief Deputy Dave Duchak on behalf of Sheriff Charles Cox and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office with The Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association Civilian Citation; and Chief Chad Loy on behalf of the Casstown Volunteer Fire Department with a Heroism Award. Members of the New Carlisle Fire Department also were in attendance.
“We are very honored to be here behalf of Sheriff Cox and our entire staff to recognize two very courageous, quick thinking — and just brave youth,” Duchak said. “We sometimes hear criticism of our youth and worry about the future of the country — I have no worry at all. We have a great generation coming up as evidence of these two here.”
Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews