It’s hard to predict what you’d do if you saw a car moving toward a possible head-on collision in the wrong lane of traffic.
But for Randy Tompkins, his instincts just kicked in.
Tompkins jumped into the car, through the window of the moving vehicle, when he realized the driver was having a seizure. Once in the vehicle, he reportedly put the car in park and did his best to tend to the driver. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived and an ambulance was called.
The entire incident was caught on video footage. You can see what took place here:
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The video shows a blue car running a red light and veering into the wrong lane of traffic. It also shows how little time Tompkins needed to react. He moved his truck out of the way, hopped out of his car and immediately jumped in through the car’s window to stop the car and help the driver.
According to NBC News 5 Chicago, the police department is now calling Tompkins a hero.
“We want to thank Tompkins for his heroism and for coming to a complete stranger’s aid today,” the Dixon, Illinois police department said in a statement.
This definitely doesn’t seem like an easy thing to accomplish but, according to Tompkins, it wasn’t up to him to decide how to handle the situation. He simply acted as quickly as he could.
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Tompkins recalled the incident to TODAY: “I just noticed, I watched him pull out behind the two cars,” he said. “He was approaching the intersection, and I could tell he was having a seizure then. I waited because I didn’t know if he was going to jerk the wheel or push the gas and that’s why I did what I did. As soon as I saw he was having a seizure I just knew I was going to help.”
In fact, he saved the day!
Medical emergencies can cause serious accidents, and that’s precisely why car companies, such as Toyota, are looking for ways to have cars predict when a medical emergency might occur. Toyota recently teamed up with Michigan Medicine researcher Kayvan Najarian, Ph.D. to research and test hardware that can be placed inside vehicles to test a driver’s heart rate and other physiological data.
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You can find out more information about their efforts on the Michigan Health Lab blog.