Nursing student helps young crash victim after deadly crash

Published: Jul. 26, 2017 at 7:46 PM EDT
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Tragedy struck a Franklin county family Tuesday.

A grandmother was killed on Route 220 north after her jeep collided with a tractor trailer near Fork Mountain Road.

State police say a woman in her 60s was driving with her granddaughter in the car. Police said in a report that the woman ran the stop sign and collided with the tractor trailer. She was pronounced dead but her young granddaughter is recovering just fine – thanks in part to passerby – one of whom said he has his schooling to thank.

"I want to be able to help people,” said Shawn Scales. “Just to give back the way that I know how."

Scales is studying to become a nurse at ECPI in Roanoke. He’s got one year under his belt and one more year to go.

Tuesday he was driving along 220 when he saw the crash unfold right in front of him.

"I pulled over as soon as I could," he said.

Scales said he was shocked by what he saw, but more than a year of schooling and a background in health care propelled him forward.

"So a nursing instinct kicked in,” he said. “You know I'm not a nurse or anything and I don't pretend to be one right now. It just kicked in."

He says he and another good Samaritan pulled a young girl, aged seven, out of the wrecked jeep as it began to leak.

Using tools from school stored in his car, like a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, Scales said he set the girl down, checked her vitals and helped calm her down.

"We asked her questions, you know, how old she was and where she goes to school,” he said. “I just tried to engage her until paramedics, more qualified people could come and take over."

He said he focused on the girl because she is young.

“She has long life ahead of her,” he said.

Scales said some people on social media have called him a hero, but he shrugs it off.

"Just doing what any other good Samaritan will do,” he said. “It just wasn't just me out there it was you know other people that were trying to help as well."

He says this incident, while tragic, has given him a new outlook on his chosen path.

"This is definitely a true calling for me nursing. "

Members of the girl's church told us through Facebook that she is recovering and has been released from the hospital.

The driver of the tractor trailer was also uninjured. No charges are expected at this time.

Scales said he's learned the nursing job doesn't stop when you clock out.

He says he's eager to finish his degree to be able to eventually help people even more.

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