SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - A motorcycle driver is recovering in the hospital after a crash and a bystander is being credited with saving his life.
What started as an afternoon traffic jam for Candi Young ended with her saving a man's life. "I usually don't even go this way. I just needed gas and decided to go this way instead of the highway," she said.
She was driving on Highway 36 in Sullivan County just minutes after two motorcycles crashed.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper David Osborne said he believes the crash may have been caused by a Camaro Z-28 driven by 19-year-old Ronnie Shipley, Jr. Osborne says he making a left-hand turn onto Jackson Hollow Road and didn't have properly working brake lights. "The vehicle doesn't really have brake lights, just reverse lights when he taps his brakes," Osborne said.
THP said the first motorcycle driver, 66-year-old Ralph Begley, didn't see the car stopped and slammed on his brakes. The second motorcycle, driven by James Fields, rear-ended Begley, throwing him off the bike. "This guy was cartwheeling 10 feet in the air and it threw him about 25 feet," said Richard McInturff, a witness.
That's when Young said she saw Begley laying on the pavement face-down, not breathing and without a pulse. "I came over to start asking him questions to see if he could hear me. He started turning blue," she explained.
Even though you're not supposed to move a crash victim in fear of causing a neck of spinal injury, witnesses and police said Young did the right thing. "According to her he was turning blue, so it was the lesser of the two evils. According to her, he had no pulse so she probably saved his life," Osborne said.
"She kept saying 'we don't need to move him, we don't need to move him.' I said 'you better get some air into that man. He's turning blue. You've got to move him,'" McInturff added.
Young, who works in a doctor's office as a medical assistant, remained calm and continued CPR until paramedics arrived. "It's part of my job. I'm a medical professional. I do come into these situations where you have to stay calm and do everything," she said. "I saved his life and hope he's going to be okay and the Lord is with him."
Now she's being called a hero. "She saved a man's life. She did. She saved a man's life," a bystander said.
THP said the driver of the Camaro was given a citation for driving without insurance and not having operational brake lights.
Begley had surgery Wednesday afternoon. The two motorcycle drivers are related.
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