Abigail Blair saw the vehicle her sons were traveling in, and feared the worst.
“I kind of collapsed … it was horrific,” the Luling mother said.
Blair’s sons Bryant, 18, and Parker, 15, were just involved in a serious collision that left their vehicle totaled and both in need of medical attention. The accident happened near Dow Chemical in Hahnville, with the other driver admitting fault, Blair said.
Thankfully, all parties survived, but not all without injuries. Bryant was left unconscious and was hospitalized with two broken legs and a broken hand. He also suffered a broken nose due to impact from the airbag upon collision. Parker suffered a broken collarbone.
But the appearance of the car gave the impression that the news would be far worse, Blair said.
“I saw the ambulance there, and when I got around it and took a look at the car … it was insane. I thought for sure … for sure they were going to tell me one of my kids was dead,” Blair said before taking a moment to collect herself.
Things might have been worse, she said, if not for the help of a Good Samaritan who stopped to help the brothers after seeing the accident happen. The man helped Parker recover Bryant from the vehicle, cutting the seatbelt that was locked onto him and keeping him restrained inside.
“There’s no way (Parker) would have been able to get him out by himself… Bryant is 6’1, Parker has a broken collarbone,” said Blair, who noted the family doesn’t know the man’s identity but is hoping to learn that soon to say thank you. “A lot of people wouldn’t stop in that situation … maybe they’re afraid of getting involved and getting sued, or think someone else is helping. He was traveling behind them and we’re so grateful for his help.”
Blair said Bryant especially hopes to meet the man who helped save the day.
“He lost consciousness shortly after they got him out the car … it could have been a bad situation,” she said. “(Bryant) really wants to meet him.”
A volunteer firefighter and a police officer were also two who made an impact that night on the scene. Blair said she’s learned the firefighter’s identity after posting about the situation online, but hopes for the same in regards to the officer, who she said helped her keep cool in the face of a scary situation.
“When I saw the car, he was the one who calmed me down, told me to take a deep breath, ‘look at me,’” Blair said. “Because I was terrified … when I got to the hospital, he was there to check on the boys. He drove all the way from New Orleans to St. Charles Parish just to be there. And I really would like to be able to thank him for that, because he went above and beyond.”
While that bit of info was still up in the air following Blair’s post to social media about the harrowing scenario, she got plenty of feedback – amongst it that there has been a push to have a traffic light placed at that intersection near Dow.
“It’s something I’m really interested in pursuing,” Blair said. “When you have 2,000 people coming out of a plant over the course of an hour, and the speed limit is 65 miles per hour on a major highway … the whole situation could have been avoided. A lot of people messaged me saying they had been trying to have a light put there.”
She added that two weeks before there was another wreck in the same place. Though not as serious, she said it might indicate it’s time something is done.
In the meantime, she suggests that the situation serve as a cautionary tale.
“I just want people to be aware … take one, two, five minutes if you need to. Take a breath (before pulling into the roadway),” Blair said. “Because in that car you might hit, it’s somebody’s child, somebody’s brother.”