A motorcycle crash victim who lost his leg in a collision in Prattville has been searching for two people who stayed by his side after the crash.
He credits them with saving his life but he did not know their names or how to go about thanking them so he reached out to WSFA in the hopes of connecting with them to express his appreciation.
The accident happened on May 19 at 8 p.m. on East Main Street in Prattville, almost directly in front of the Zaxby's and Bruster's. David Tesino was on his motorcycle and collided with the front of a passenger car.
"I was riding my bike in Prattville coming from a buddy's house going down Cobbs Ford Road, the main street, just riding and I see a white car out of the corner of my eye and I thought surely it's not going to hit me and at the same time, I'm trying to swerve out of the way but there wasn't enough time. I didn't have time to serve or hit my brakes and the car slammed into the side of my bike," Tesino told WSFA.
Tesino said he remembers being thrown from his bike, hitting the ground and being in agony. Prattville police say the driver of the passenger car, who they did not identify, did stop after the accident. Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson told WSFA that Tesino clipped the front of the car in the eastbound lanes.
"I started screaming from the time of impact. It seemed like forever that I was just laying there by myself. I saw my leg all mangled and bleeding out. Next thing, I hear a man's voice saying to calm down and asking me if I was ok. From that point, I calmed down and collected myself. He got my belt off and put a tourniquet on and helped stop the bleeding. I also heard a woman's voice and she said she was in the medical field. They're the only two people I actually remember hearing," he said.
Tesino was in so much pain, he didn't remember their names. As they waited there with him for paramedics to arrive, he begged them to tell his wife and children how much he loves them.
"I thought I was dead. I didn't think I was going to make it. Even with the tourniquet on, I thought I was going to bleed out," he added.
He was rushed to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery and the hospital staff informed him that he was going to lose his leg.
"I had to deal with that but as long as I lived, that's all that mattered- to be there for my family. Things are never going to be the same but I can still wake up and tell them that I love them every day," Tesino said of his ordeal.
He contacted WSFA because he wanted to thank the Good Samaritans who stopped to help him and hoped the station could get the message out that he was trying to reach them.
We met with Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson about the accident and he was able to make the connection. It turns out the Good Samaritans had been trying to find out how David Tesino was doing after the crash and they contacted the police department in an effort to find out his condition.
The man who placed the tourniquet on Tesino's leg was Sammy Vuckovich, a 23 year Air Force veteran and commander of the Office of Special Investigations at Maxwell Air Force Base. The woman by Tesino's side was Sammy's wife Robin, a respiratory therapist at Baptist East.
The couple was on their way home from a baseball game when they drove up on the crash and they rushed to help. Out of concern, the Vuckovichs went to the hospital the day after the accident to see how Tesino was doing but without knowing his last name, they couldn't find him. So then Sammy Vuckovich turned to Chief Thompson to inquire about Tesino and the chief helped bring them together.
The trio was reunited in a surprise meeting Tuesday night in Deatsville. As they embraced, Tesino thanked them for what they did.
"You definitely made an impact on my life. You're going to be in my thoughts for a long time. I wish you nothing but the best," Sam Vuckovich told Tesino.
The group hopes to keep in touch as David Tesino continues his long recovery.
Chief Thompson commended the Vuckovichs for their quick action and said if it weren't for them coming to Tesino's aid, he would not have made it.
He said the Vuckovichs are an example of how resilient military families are and how much they care about the community.
The couple said they were happy they were in the right place at the right time to make a difference- Robin with her medical training and Sam with his years of military training.
"He's changed my life. The incident, me being there, it all has changed my life because I never expected to be there. I never planned on it but I'm so glad I was there to help him. That's really what it comes down to. And I'm glad he reached out to me because I was looking for him and all I could do was pray that he was all right," Sam Vuckovich said of David Tesino.
"I was trying to keep him calm as my husband got the tourniquet on his leg. I was trying to keep him focused on his breathing and his mind off the pain... He's been constantly on our minds, wondering how he's healing and his thoughts of seeing his children afterwards. Thank God that everything turned out the way it did," Robin Vuckovich added.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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