Local News

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash Helped Save Stranger's Life

Posted November 11, 2007 6:29 p.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2007 7:35 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh woman said that a motorcyclist, who was killed in an accident late Saturday, saved her life during a car crash four years ago.

Karl Edward Kost, 42, was riding his 2006 Harley Davidson from his home in Durham to Raleigh when he was involved in a head-on collision with a 1993 Porsche on Old Wake Forest Road. Kost was at fault for the crash, and the other driver was not seriously injured, police said.

"He woke up in the morning, rode his bike to work and rode home. And after he went home, he went riding," his friend Mike White said.

Kost did not survive, but he did help Sandra Parrish survive an accident in April 2003.

"He literally saved my life, and how blessed I am for him to have done that – for him to have been brought into my life at that time and for him to do what he did for me," Parrish said.

Parrish lost control of her van while driving on Highway 64 in Nash County and crashed into a guardrail. When she got out to look at her van, she was hit by a car that severed both of her legs.

Kost was among a group of strangers who stopped to help. Parrish was bleeding quickly, so he helped devise a tourniquet for her right leg.

"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 in an interview with WRAL in April 2003.

Parrish did, although she lost both legs. Kost kept on checking in with her, to see how she was doing every so often, she said.

"It was just unbelievable that somebody that I didn't know would do that for me, and then continue to stay in touch," Parrish said.  "It was an instant bond."

Friends said they deeply respected Kost for such acts of selflessness as rescuing Parrish.

"I admired him for that, for his bravery, for his courageousness in the time of someone else's need," his friend Tim Martin said. "Just wish somebody could've come to his rescue."

Kost, who worked in construction, left behind a 6-year-old son.

"For Karl to leave us, he was on his bike. And that's what he wanted to do," White said.