Quick-thinking Good Samaritans rushed to the aid of a semi-truck driver who was listed in good condition Monday after being pinned in his cab in a rollover accident on Interstate 5 north of Siskiyou Summit Sunday morning.
“We were really concerned about how badly hurt he was,” said Steve Hyman, a 73-year-old San Francisco resident. “It was quite a frightening experience.”
Khadir Tarish Al-Kenani, 47, of Dearborn, Michigan, was driving north on I-5 when his brakes failed, causing the semi to flip over on its side and traffic to back up for miles, according to the Oregon State Police. Al-Kenani's arm and leg were pinned under the cab for about a half hour before firefighters were able to free him and airlift him to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.
Hyman said the center divider prevented the trailer of the truck from heading into the southbound lanes, though cleaning supplies spewed out over the southbound side.
After attending his niece’s graduation at Southern Oregon University, Hyman said he was traveling south on his way home when he saw the semi lose control and he immediately pulled over to the right shoulder.
Hyman and his nephew, Brendan Carr, 25, of San Francisco, ran across to help the driver just after 10:52 a.m., when Hyman placed the 911 call.
”Brendan talked to him, and somebody else pulled the windshield out,” Hyman said. A woman took off her T-shirt to help staunch the blood flowing from the driver’s arm.
When a doctor showed up about a minute later, Carr offered his belt to use as a tourniquet, Hyman said.
During the time he was with Al-Kenani, Hyman said Al-Kenani remained conscious, though in great pain. Although the semi was on its side, the engine continued to run at first, and there was a strong smell of diesel fumes, he said.
“The driver did have the presence of mind to turn off the ignition with his right hand,” Hyman said.
Hyman said he was relieved to hear the driver was in good condition, though the hospital wouldn’t reveal the extent of injuries to the arm and leg that were pinned under the cab.