Local News

Ex-Scout Helps Save Wreck Victim's Life

Posted July 13, 2007

— A Johnston County man credits his Boy Scout training for his life-saving effort on the shoulder of Interstate 40 two months ago.

Steven Parker was driving on I-40 on May 20 when he witnessed a wreck. A car speeding down the interstate in the wrong direction slammed head-on into another vehicle near Clayton.

The second vehicle flipped several times, and Blake Leonard, 21, ripped through his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle.

"It was probably one of the most horrible things I've ever seen in my life," said Parker, who pulled off I-40 and ran over to help.

"The only thing I remember from as soon as the wreck happened was pretty much just picking my leg up off the ground and holding it," Leonard said.

Parker grabbed a pair of jeans from the wrecked car, tied it around Leonard's leg and used his fist to make a tourniquet. He slowed the blood flow and kept Leonard calm until paramedics arrived.

"He was obviously a young kid, and all I could think about was, if I don't stop this bleeding, he's going to die right here in front of me," Parker said.

He credited his childhood experience as a Boy Scout for knowing what to do. Special Forces paramedics from Fort Bragg taught his troop first aid, he said.

"After it was all said and done, I was shaking," he said of his roadside experience. "I don't know how you keep it together with something like that other than the fact that someone else is depending on you."

Leonard's leg had to be amputated, and he underwent 10 surgeries during a 41-day stay in the hospital. But he and his mother credit Parker with keeping him alive.

"We consider the guy who saved Blake's life to be an angel," said Leonard's mother, Martha Lancaster. "He is our all-time hero in this."

Leonard and Lancaster said they have spoken to Parker on the phone and hope to meet him in person. In the meantime, Leonard is learning to walk again with a prosthetic leg.

"If he hadn't done it, I wouldn't be here ... right now," Leonard said.

But Parker dismissed the hero talk.

"I think the real heroes would be like the paramedics and the doctors who actually did save his life. I might have bought him a little bit of time," he said.


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  • ListentoMeNow Jul 15, 2007

    Enderby, since you obviously don't know how to use yours maybe you can donate it for research. If you would read all of the posts from start to finish you would be up to speed on the flow.

  • enderby Jul 15, 2007

    jparadisiii - How do you transplant a brain on a webpage? And what does the supreme court have to do with it? I does appear you could really use one.

  • ListentoMeNow Jul 14, 2007

    I wish the supreme court would rule on brain transplants. The business would be booming right here.

  • whocares Jul 14, 2007

    Mr. Parker I commend you for your quick thinking and for doing all that you could to save someone's life. Scouting seems to other people like some big social club for boys and girls, but in reality it gives you the utinsils to help others when you need to. I am glad that I was a Girl Scout.

  • nowayeddy Jul 14, 2007

    Scouting Rules, glad they were able to keep it a great organization

  • QT3.14 Jul 14, 2007

    What a modest hero! A great story...

  • angora Jul 14, 2007

    nowayeddy: Are you going to pull your children out of society when they reach adulthood to protect them from all the "potentially dangerous situations" out there in the big bad world?

  • educgrad Jul 14, 2007

    He indeed is a hero,but too humble to take any credit

  • moose13 Jul 14, 2007

    What a GREAT story, I hope more people see this and are willing to do something like this to help out when in need!! What an awesome and commendable guy! I hope people continue to keep their children in scouts, I know I was in Girl Scouts for years...Great job to WRAL for posting some "good" news!! Hopefully he has a good recovery as well.

  • HDBiker Jul 14, 2007

    Scouting is great. I have been a scout most of my life as both a scout and a leader. I dont' know whether the gay leader issue is right or wrong. But the fight over possible injustice to a few adults is hurting a program that does so much good. Just imagine...kids wanting to join a gang called "scouting", "softball", or "church" instead of Bloods. Besides, I can't think of any organization that pleases everyone. Part of the problem is we as adults are more concerned about our philosophical differences than we are about the children. For the benefit of a few we are willing to sacrifice our next generation. Shame on us. If you as a parent don't agree with a particular principle, then stand up,take time, and talk to your kids about it. Don't expect other orgs to do your job.

    Yes Mr. Parker you are a hero. I understand why you say not. If more people went through programs like scouting, your actions would be replicated more often and heroes like you would become less of a rarity.