Local Woman Intervenes, Calms Accident Victims

BERLIN — A local woman is being called a hero after intervening in an accident on Route 113 on Tuesday night and providing critical primary care and speaking Spanish to the victims on the scene.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">

On Tuesday night, a vehicle carrying two adult females and two young children attempted to make a left turn on Route 113 at Whaleyville Rd. when it failed to yield to an oncoming car and was struck on its passenger side. According to witnesses, the female passenger attempted to get out of the vehicle before collapsing on the ground and falling in and out of consciousness.

Ocean Pines resident Don Stifler was traveling in the area and stopped to render some assistance to the Hispanic victims, but another local resident, Krista Brooks, whose husband John Brooks owns the Crabcake Factory in Ocean City, was already on the scene and taking charge of the situation.

“This young girl gets out of the car and collapses on the ground,” he said. “I pulled over and was heading to help in any way I could, but Krista took control over everything. She was caring for the poor girl on the ground while speaking to her and the other people in the car in Spanish. The whole thing was a little surreal, almost like a movie.”

Stifler said Brooks likely helped save the young girl, whose mother and children appeared to be shaken up but not otherwise injured.

“A lot of people see these things and don’t want to get involved, but she jumped right in and saved the day,” he said. “There really ought to be some kind of Good Samaritan award in Worcester County because if there was ever a case for it, this was it.”

Brooks said it was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time, along with having some basic emergency medical training and the ability to speak Spanish. She had just dropped off her own daughter at a babysitter’s house and was heading home to the Pines when she witnessed the accident.

“I had just dropped off our daughter and I stayed for 10 minutes or so to have a cup of coffee with the babysitter, which I don’t usually do,” she said. “If I had skipped the coffee and headed straight home, I would not have been in the right place at the right time.”

After the accident, Brooks said the girl’s mother was attempting to revive her and was moving her around before she intervened.

“It was a little chaotic at first,” she said. “The grandmother was trying to move her around and get her back up, but I knew you’re never supposed to move a victim in a crash and I was able to relate to her the importance of keeping her still. I got them to get jackets and whatever else they could find to keep her warm because she was slipping in and out of consciousness and appeared to be going into shock.”

Brooks intervened on the call to 911 and translated the dispatcher’s instructions to the Hispanic victims until emergency services arrived. In the meantime, she continued to speak Spanish to the victim, consoling her and keeping her alert.

“It was pretty bad,” she said. “She was complaining of abdominal pain and it appeared she had internal injuries because there was a blood spot on her stomach with no apparent injury. I was just able to get her to stay calm and I spoke to her in Spanish and told stories about trips to Mexico and asked her stories about her kids, etc.”

Brooks stayed with the victim and assisted the first-responders while continuing to reassure the victim with the language barrier.

“I was just thankful I was able to help,” she said. “I like to think anybody else in that position would do the same thing. I just hope they’re okay.”