Sandra Parrish was driving her white van last week when she lost control on Highway 64 in Nash County and crashed into a guardrail. When Parrish got out to look at the back of her van, she was hit by a car that severed both of her legs.
Karl Kost, who witnessed the accident, said he knew he had to do something.
"What I was seeing didn't really affect me because I knew that we had to get past that right there and try to save her," he said.
Several people pulled over to assist in the accident, including Toni Lewis, a substitute teacher from Edgecombe County.
"All I can remember is she had these beautiful blue eyes, and I asked her her name, and she told me her name was Sandra," Lewis said. "I just tried to tell her it was going to be OK, [and] that we were there. We were going to get her help."
The group knew Sandra would bleed to death quickly.
"I took off my belt and it was used for a tourniquet on her right leg," Lewis said.
"We put rope on the other leg to stop the bleeding. It was pretty bad," Kost said.
Parrish is now in good condition and she has been moved from intensive care to a private room.
"I really, honestly, was not sure whether or not she would make it, but luckily she has," Lewis said.
"I want to let her know that there's a whole lot of people out there who went through the ringer to keep her alive. She'd better stay here," Kost said.
Parrish's family members said that at least two other people stopped and helped keep Parrish alive until rescue crews could get there -- a woman who is a respiratory therapist and a man who was driving construction equipment. They do not know either of the rescuers' names yet, but they would like to find out.
Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.