May 30, 2007 Edition

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Alicia woman honored
for helping at accident

Shelly James (left) of Medic One presents a Hometown Hero plaque to Twayna Smith of Alicia for her actions following a car accident in Lawrence County on May 11.
Gretchen Hunt

When Twayna Smith of Alicia left for a revival service with her fiance, Lynn Barnes, and another couple, Arville and Sybil Taylor, also of Alicia, she had no way of knowing that her decision to make that trip that night would so greatly impact another person.

On their way home from the revival, the four came upon an accident scene at the intersection of Highways 230 and 91. A vehicle carrying five teenagers had run off the road, and at first it appeared that everyone involved was uninjured.

Smith said that when she got out of the car, four of the teens were standing up on the side of the road and said that everyone had gotten out of the car OK. She then noticed one boy, Jordan Doss, sitting on the ground.

She said she knelt down next to Doss, who was sitting upright with his head in his hands, and asked him if he was OK.

"He said he was fine; he just didn't know where all the blood was coming from," Smith said. "I sat down and laid him in my lap, and he had a huge gash in his head."

Smith then asked for a shirt to help slow the bleeding and talked to Doss until the paramedics arrived.

Shelly James of Medic One in Walnut Ridge, who responded to the accident, said Smith did everything right.

"It's very important to keep them conscious and keep them calm," James said. "Keeping them still is even more important."

James said what the teens had thought was just a bump on the head ended up being a very serious injury that could have been life-threatening.

"He ended up with a brain injury as a result of a skull fracture," James said.

Doss was airlifted from the scene by Air Evac of Jonesboro, according to Phillip Roark of the State Police, who worked the accident. The Bono and Walnut Ridge fire departments also responded, according to James.

None of the other four were injured. Doss, who is 15 and a student at Westside School, is home now.

Smith said she was alright through the whole thing, but afterwards, all she could think about was her 12-year-old daughter who will be driving soon.

"On the way home it hit me," she said. "It wasn't the blood that bothered me; it was the fact that it was a kid."

Last week, as EMS Week was being celebrated, Medic One honored Smith as a Hometown Hero. James said Medic One started the Hometown Hero program in Randolph County, and it has expanded from there.

Smith was presented with a plaque which read: "For rendering aid to a stranger as a result of a motor vehicle accident, May 11, 2007."

Smith said that in addition to the fact that they had decided to attend the revival, they were riding with the Taylors, and not traveling as fast as they might have been had they gone alone.

"We were having a leisurely drive home and talking," she said. "If we'd been by ourselves, we would have already been past that intersection when the accident occurred. I think it's a God thing."

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