Yesterday was yet another reminder of why I love working in the community of people that make up Krav Maga Houston.
It was approximately six thirty in the morning on June 11th when a huge booming sound caused my attention to turn to the window and the street behind me. I looked down from the second floor just in time to see a vehicle launch from the street into the parking lot below me. The silver car, mid-sized at best, had gone airborne for approximately 150 feet; with it’s engine on fire, it looked like a fireball had been launched from an ancient Roman catapult. The silver vehicle turned upside down in mid-air before crashing to the ground and skidding to halt.
The other Ram SUV (the one the silver vehicle had smashed), rolled onto it’s side several times from the street through the bushes and hedges and abruptly stopped as it came to rest in the parking lot beside a Mercedes that had been parked in the spaces closest to the street and furthest from the building – presumably to protect the vehicle from others parking to close. Ironically, that Mercedes became a kind of “back stop” for the Ram SUV, stopping its roll.
My heart sunk. I was sure there were fatalities. This crash looked like something out of a Fast & Furious movie. I ran for my cell phone to call 911 – as the entire class poured out of the Krav Maga Houston school into the parking lot. The class ran towards the silver vehicle that was still on fire to extricate whoever might be trapped inside.
While we were able to extricate the single driver from the silver vehicle who miraculously had a single, small laceration to his right elbow and left hand, we were not able to confirm that the vehicle was empty (as the driver was in shock and conscious but unresponsive) two of us scurried around the vehicle, finally arriving at the rear window (that was blown out). I crawled inside to check for other passengers. When I saw the baby seat still affixed to the rear passenger seat, my stomach raced to my throat. The seat was empty, as was the rest of the silver vehicle. Thank God.
The Ram SUV, it seemed, had several passengers. As we moved to check on them (they were all out of the SUV and walking around), I continued triage – no apparent injuries, no blood or lacerations, no protrusions, and no chief complaints. The team of Krav Maga Houston Kravists continued to circle the scene. We waived down the ambulance, briefed the EMT personnel with a triage report as they exited, and as the scene was overcome with medical and police personnel, we all quietly left and went back to training. No one stayed around to do interviews with the news crews that arrived. Nobody cared about that. We had done a good thing. We had done the right thing. That’s what we do in this community.
Lastly, thank you to the man who pulled into the parking lot out of nowhere, driving a ThyssenKrupp truck, who had a fire extinguisher and quickly put out the fire burning around the engine of the silver vehicle. He left as quickly as he arrived. Whoever, you are…thank you.
I’m so proud of this community, and so honored to be a part of it. Thank you Alf, Jeff, Marc, Mike, Cain, and Ernesto – who were there doing the right thing – running towards the fire to help others – from start to finish.
As always, walk in peace, have courage, and do the right and good thing…