SA response to traffic accident a Service Before Self moment

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Puiblic Affairs

The last thing Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Stephen Moore’s two daughters expected was to witness their father respond to a traffic accident.

Fortunately, for those involved in the crash, SA Moore, of Procurement Fraud Detachment 4, Operating Location-B, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., knew what to do, and took charge at the scene.    

The wreck occurred on a sunny and clear April 4th afternoon, in a construction area located on Interstate-74, near the Brimfield, Ill., mile-marker. SA Moore and his girls were traveling northbound in a truck while a sport utility vehicle was traveling southbound. The cause of the wreck was not immediately known, however, the SUV careened off the road and flipped end-over-end three times before coming to rest upside down.

SA Moore picks up the story from there.

“I abruptly stopped my vehicle, instructed my 7-year-old and 4-year-old to stay in it, while I rushed to aid the occupants of the SUV,” he said. “I was the first one there and saw the driver was an elderly, heavy-set man, who was unconscious and suspended upside down in his seat. His adult passenger was conscious, trapped on the other side, but seemed relatively okay.”

That’s when two more bystanders arrived at the scene. SA Moore instructed one to free the passenger and the other to grab his (Moore’s) medical kit and flashlight from his truck, while he began working on freeing the driver.

“Initially, his door was bent and stuck from the wreck,” SA Moore recalled. “I had to pull the door open enough to get my body in between where I could use leverage from the vehicle to bend the door open enough to get him out. After I opened the door, I used a knife to cut his seat belt and catch his unconscious body.”

SA Moore lifted and carried his body away from the wreckage carefully so as not to injure him further. Upon checking for injuries, SA Moore discovered multiple scrapes, cuts, and contusions, plus a very low pulse and bleeding through pores on his face, which made Moore suspect a severe head injury.

“I performed a sternum rub to get the driver to regain consciousness,” SA Moore said. “Once he did, I had his passenger help me keep him awake by talking to him and reassuring him everything would be okay.”

SA Moore instructed two more bystanders to elevate the driver’s legs to prevent him from going into shock, while he checked eye dilation to assess for a concussion, wiped away the blood from the wounds and applied pressure to some of the more serious cuts.

The driver almost lost consciousness again, so SA Moore performed measures to keep him awake. Approximately 25 minutes after SA Moore responded, a state trooper arrived who called in a life-flight and paramedics.

SA Moore continued his medical support for the driver until the paramedics arrived ten minutes later. He briefed them on what transpired and provided the state trooper with his account of what happened.

Does SA Moore think of himself as a hero?

“I cannot really recall my thought process during the event,” he said afterwards. “I just knew I would have wanted someone to stop and help me if that happened to me. “I don’t consider myself a hero. I just happened to be the first one there and did what I have been trained to do.”

Most everything SA Moore did he learned through the Red Cross training he received while assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany as a supply technician. He took a weekend course for basic life saving measures, qualifying him to perform CPR and various other techniques which enabled him to act quickly at the accident scene.

“I’m just happy that I could help and the SUV occupants survived the accident,” he said in deflecting praise from himself.

SA Moore, instead, gave a shout out to his daughters.

“My two little girls were very brave during this ordeal as they witnessed the crash and then from the safety of my truck the actions I took to help,” he said. “They handled the situation appropriately and maintained their composure during a stressful time, which is difficult for such young minds to process. They helped the individual I instructed to get my medical kit and flashlight in my vehicle. I am very proud of Stevie (7 years old) and Quinn (4 years old) for being extremely brave and helpful in their own right.”

SA Moore’s daughters can be justifiably proud of their dad, who demonstrated what it means to put Service Before Self.