Though a group of fraternity brothers on a road trip may seem like unlikely candidates for the title “hero,” doctors said four University of Central Florida students saved a man’s life when they helped a family that had crashed their car.
It was pouring rain when Donna Ascott lost control of her family’s SUV and smashed into a tree north of Gainsville. Ascott said moments after the crash, a miracle occurred.
“These four guys — angels — came out of nowhere and opened the door,” Ascott said.
The four Kappa Sigma brothers said they saw the brake lights off the side of the road and sprung into action.
“We opened the door and everyone was screaming,” said Erik Diaz, a senior at UCF. “It was bad.”
Donna Ascott said the impact of the crash severed her husband’s — Melvin Ascott’s — arm right above the elbow. The couple’s daughter and granddaughter were in the car at the time of the crash, but the students rushed the two to the hospital in their car so the young girl wouldn’t see how badly her grandfather was injured.
UCF junior Nick Pena stayed behind however to help work on Melvin Ascott’s injury.
“I went around the car again,” Pena said. “On the man’s arm, I tied the belt around and pulled as hard as I could in an attempt to stop the bleeding.”
Pena said at that point, another car stopped and Pena was able to get a screwdriver from that car and use his Reserve Officers’ Training Corps lessons to help save Melvin Ascott’s life.
“I used a T-shirt and a screwdriver to make a tourniquet on the man’s arm,” Pena explained. “It stopped bleeding from what I could tell — almost all the way.”
Soon after, emergency rescue personnel arrived and rushed Melvin Ascott to Shands Hospital, where doctors said Pena’s quick thinking stopped him from bleeding to death.
“It is amazing that these young men knew how to do this,” said Donna Ascott.
Donna and Melvin Ascott both say the four fraternity brothers are their new heroes, but the four students said the title doesn’t fit and they credited their actions to what they learned at school.
“A hero is so much more,” said Joshua Frost, a senior at UCF. “This is just one thing that we did right that anybody else who drove in front of us could have done right. We just did it, and that’s what matters.”
The Ascotts said they are waiting for a bed to open up at a hospital in their hometown in Canada before they can fly back home in an air ambulance. Donna Ascott said that her husband will need at least one more surgery before rehab.
Source: Channel 6’s ClickOrlando.com, Frat Boys Save Man’s Life After Crash, Updated 12:00 pm EDT July 20, 2010.