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May 17, 2019

AEP Transmission Employee Comes To Aid of Injured Motorists

It was a cold and stormy night April 13, in Lawton, Oklahoma, which is southwest of Oklahoma City. Brian Gibbs, a Transmission line supervisor, was driving in heavy rain on Interstate 44 on his way to inspect a line issue near Comanche Power Station, when he spied an upside-down car in a ditch down below the road.

Gibbs pulled over to a safe place and shone his spotlight on the car. Two young, injured adults climbed out of the car. His AEP safety training took over — to be “another’s keeper.” Gibbs’ account of that night follows:

“I grabbed the spotlight and my phone, and ran down the bank to check on them,” Gibbs said.

“The young man was on the phone with the 9-1-1- operator. I told the operator the mile marker location, and then put the injured man back on the phone to keep talking, in an effort to keep him from going into shock.

“It was only 40 degrees outside and still raining heavily. I ran back to my truck and got jackets, a rain coat and extra flame-retardant shirts.

"The young man had a broken leg and was missing one-and-a-half toes. I wrapped his bleeding foot with one of the shirts. The young lady had six or seven cuts to her head and face, and was bleeding heavily. I wrapped her in coats and a rain coat, cleaned up her wounds and tried to reassure her that none of the wounds were deep.

“Another car stopped to help, and that driver stayed with the injured couple while I went to get an extra rain coat from the truck to keep them warm. They were calm, but in pain. I told them to call their parents to tell them they were O.K.

“About 15 minutes after we called 9-1-1, a police car arrived, and 10 minutes later firemen arrived and started checking the couple’s injuries and recording information. The couple said that their car hydroplaned into a guardrail while they were on their way to Walmart to buy cat food.

“I stayed at the scene and held lights for the firemen until the ambulance arrived, about 45 minutes after the accident. We carried the couple up to the road where they could be loaded into the ambulance. As they were leaving, the kids thanked me for stopping to help them and asked my name.

“I then gathered up the bloody jackets and rain gear, and put them in a trash bag, and left the bloody shirts with the firemen who thanked me for assisting. I then got back to my truck, threw away my gloves, washed my hands with eyeglass wipes and went on to patrol the 69-kV line near Comanche Power Station.

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