A Hero Emerges in Motorcycle Crash

By Scott Sarvay
By Max Resnik

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM EDT

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Two women were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash on State Road 14 Wednesday afternoon in southern Kosciusko County.

Kosciusko County Sheriff's deputies and emergency personnel responded to a 911 call of a motorcycle and automobile collision at the intersection of State Road 14 and County Farm Road shortly after 4:30 p.m.

When officers arrived they discovered that two women, 54-year-old Terri A. Penrod of Silver Lake, and 53-year-old Sue A. Raber also of Silver Lake, suffering injuries from the crash. The lower half of Penrod’s left leg had been severed as a result of the crash. Raber sustained a deep calf muscle gash.

It was there that Stephen Wilson, a 21-year-old former marine from Mexico, IN, stepped in, applied a tourniquet to Penrod’s leg and took control of the situation. Wilson secured belts from onlookers and with the help of a corn stalk, helped to save Penrod’s life.

Wilson’s experiences and training as a marine were the keys to keeping a horrific situation calm as he saved Penrod’s life.

“She was in critical condition. You know, every minute was going to be a different outcome if we waited longer so I just knew I had to act fast and keep a good head on my shoulders and be calm. Make sure everyone else stayed calm to get through a situation like that.”

Wilson is being called a hero and will receive an award for his heroism at Tuesday’s Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting. Wilson, like many other serviceman and servicewoman, said he is no hero and acted on instinct. He says he only hopes someone would do the same for him if he were ever found in a similar situation.

Wilson said it was not easy going home Wednesday night after the accident. He said he could not sleep without fully understanding the conditions of Penrod and Raber.

“The night that it happened I went home. I didn't know exactly what kind of condition she [Penrod] was in and that kind of-- it rode on me a little bit. I had a hard time sleeping, and it was on my mind quite a bit knowing how she turned out. But knowing the fact that they're both going to come through it, they're going to be okay, it makes me feel pretty good to know that I did the best I could to help.”

The two were taken by Samaritan helicopter shortly after the accident. At last check, both women are listed in fair condition.

Crash investigators determined that that Penrod had been driving her 2002 Honda motorcycle westbound on State Road 14 approaching the intersection of County Farm Road with Raber as a passenger. As the two turned left, a second motorcycle, riding behind them turned right. Upon seeing the right turn being made by the second motorcycle, 26-year-old Joshua Crawford, of Silver Lake, tried pass the motorcycle making the right turn. He t-boned Penrod and Raber.

Crawford was driving under a suspended license. He was not arrested because of the type of suspension but was forced to give a blood test for alcohol and drugs. He will face charges, according to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s department, for an illegal lane change that led to the crash.

Investigators credit Wilson with saving both ladies from bleeding to death due to his quick actions at the crash scene. Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. team stated that the crash is still under investigation pending legal blood and alcohol test results.

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