Cousino students honored for aiding crash victim

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published December 23, 2015


WARREN — It wasn’t what they expected to be doing after second hour on Oct. 20.

On their way from Cousino High School to the Warren Consolidated Schools Career Preparation Center at Dodge Park and 15 Mile Road at about 9:30 a.m., four senior students, all 17 and residents of Warren, saw their day take a serious turn when they were left dealing with the aftermath of a two-car crash.

For their efforts to aid and comfort an injured 90-year-old passenger in one of the vehicles, Lyndsay Byrd, Jaz Carafelly, Julia Dikhu and Taylor Scargall were awarded proclamations from Warren Mayor Jim Fouts on Dec. 17. The mayor said the Warren Fire Department credited the students for acting quickly, remaining calm and helping to save the victim’s life.

Byrd recalled approaching the intersection with Carafelly, on their way to the career prep center where three of the girls, ironically, take health science classes. She recalled seeing another student in the roadway, standing outside his car uninjured after an apparent collision with another vehicle.   

“One of the boys we go to school with was out in the middle of the road,” Byrd said. “There were two older ladies, in their 80s or 90s. The passenger hit her head.”

Carafelly said she noticed Scargall was also there, holding her own head. 

Scargall and Dikhu weren’t involved the crash, but they did witness it. Scargall was reacting to the woman’s injuries. 

That’s when Byrd and Carafelly also pulled over, and the four girls rushed to assist the crash victim.

“Immediately, I looked at her. From our medical classes, I went back to my car and got a tissue and started applying pressure, trying to calm her as much as possible,” Carafelly said.

Byrd added, “It was bleeding so profusely, it was in her eye. It was all over her pants and her phone. Everything.”

They said the 90-year-old victim at first didn’t know what had happened. The woman’s sister  — the driver, who is in her 80s — was not injured.

Scargall went into the nearby drugstore to get more tissues. She said she isn’t enrolled in the medical classes, but that she just reacted to the situation.

“I think it’s kind of like, if you have that mindset and you need to help someone, and you’re good in emergencies, it just comes and you do it,” Scargall said.

Dikhu called 911 and spoke with the emergency dispatch operator.

“We all just took the initiative and took care of the problem. I was on the phone with them. I was telling (the operator) she was bleeding. They were there shortly,” Dikhu said.

Fouts, who in October recognized 20-year-old Justin Stokes, of Shelby Township, for assisting his mother’s injured neighbor, stressed the importance of recognizing residents who assist their fellow citizens. 

“It’s good to focus on the positive and encourage people, regardless of age, to help out in times of need,” Fouts said. “I think it’s always encouraging to honor the efforts, particularly of  young people volunteering to help people in times of distress.”