Civilian recognized for assisting injured neighbor

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 13, 2015

 Justin Stokes, 20, a resident of Shelby Township, was recognized by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts Oct. 6 for actions taken in June to comfort a woman critically injured in an accident near his mother’s home on Streefkerk.

Justin Stokes, 20, a resident of Shelby Township, was recognized by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts Oct. 6 for actions taken in June to comfort a woman critically injured in an accident near his mother’s home on Streefkerk.

Photo by Brian Louwers

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WARREN — Justin Stokes didn’t expect to find someone in extreme distress when he went to investigate what sounded like children crying on the afternoon of June 9.

For his calm actions to aid a 68-year-old woman who later died after she was crushed by her own vehicle in a parking accident on Streefkerk, Stokes, 20, now a resident of Shelby Township, was officially named in a civilian citation from the Warren Police Department in June. On Oct. 6, he received a proclamation from Mayor Jim Fouts.

“I was just outside on the phone with my friend. I started to walk in the house and I came back out. I noticed the truck was in the street, and it just looked kind of awkward to me,” said Stokes, recalling the event. “I noticed some kids crying. I wasn’t sure if they were crying or playing. I stood there and I listened a little harder, and it didn’t sound too good.”

Stokes, who at the time lived with his mother on Streefkerk, near 14 Mile and Mound, said he approached the neighbor’s yard and noticed a woman on the ground.

Police Commissioner Jere Green said it was later discovered that the woman was hit by her own vehicle in the driveway of her daughter’s home. Her 6-year-old grandchild reportedly called 911.

Green said Stokes rushed to the woman’s aid and reportedly tried to calm her, protect her spine and keep her airway open until Fire Department paramedics arrived. She later died from severe head injuries.

“The firefighters reported how impressed they were with Mr. Stokes’ calmness and outstanding assistance in a life-threatening situation,” Green said in a special order outlining the citation. “Mr. Stokes’ calm reassurance and presence at the scene made it easier for the fire personnel to do their jobs.”
As he presented Stokes with the proclamation, Fouts praised him for his quick and compassionate actions.

“You are someone that we can be proud of,” Fouts said. “We want to encourage other Warren residents, when there is a life-threatening situation, that will jump to action like you did.

“You were there when a citizen was in need,” Fouts said.

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