Jerry Townsend nearly died in a heavy equipment accident but his quick thinking and selfless act saved several lives while putting his own in grave danger. The good karma he earned through his actions just might have played a role in his overall recovery from the traumatic injuries he suffered.
According to WPXI News in Pittsburgh, Townsend was operating his 16-ton paver when the hose snapped, causing it to go out of control. He reached speeds of 60-75 mph during the ordeal and was faced with a life or death decision. Townsend admitted he panicked a little, but he also had the good sense to veer the rig off into a wooded area as opposed to continue into oncoming traffic.
His quick thinking saved the lives of the people in the vehicles, but the impact and devastation from the trees left Townsend critically injured. He was trapped for an hour while rescue workers attempted to free him from the wreckage. Forbes Hospital trauma surgeon Dr. Jehangir Badar was among the team that worked on Townsend.
““I thought even if he’s going to live, he’s not going to be able to walk,” Badar told WPXI. Townsend suffered a broken neck, a collapsed lung, crushed legs and severe open wounds. But after several surgeries and just 28 days in the hospital Townsend walked out of the hospital.
Luckily, the Forbes Trauma Center had just recently opened and Townsend was the first to be treated. Doctors believe that if any more time had elapsed without him getting to the hospital he would not have survived. There are no other trauma centers nearby.
The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services offers the highest levels of training in the heavy equipment industry. We don’t know what heavy equipment training Townsend received, but our guess is that he was a very good operator who was taught how to deal with every kind of situation.
We salute Jerry Townsend and wish him the best.