By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer
Victor Jordan says he truly believes he was in the right place at the right time around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, because he just can’t explain it any other way.
Jordan, an OOIDA member from Shakopee, MN, said that until that day he had never saved anyone’s life before. However, within 30 seconds after a fiery crash that occurred right in front of him, he was able to stop his rig and run the 75 yards or so from his truck to save the lives of three people.
The crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. 42 and State Route 302 between a pickup truck and a tractor-trailer, in Ashland County, OH. The two vehicles slammed into a nearby house. Both vehicles and the house caught on fire. He was able to pull free the truck driver and two of the pickup’s passengers. The driver of the pickup died at the scene. Jordan said others arrived on the scene to help him.
On that day, Jordan says he remembers making a wrong turn. After getting turned around, he was slowed down again by a horse and buggy on the road. Just seconds after he was able to maneuver around the horse and buggy, he witnessed the crash.
“Two seconds earlier, if I hadn’t have been slowed down, mine would have been the tractor-trailer that was hit,” Jordan told Land Line. “Stuff started flying, and I slammed on my brakes and jumped out. I believe I was spared for a reason that day so I could help those three people out of their vehicles.”
He said he sustained minor burns to his head, neck and hands trying to rescue the victims of the crash. Some of the power lines caught on fire, hitting him in the head and neck. His hands were burned by the hot metal of the seatbelt buckles as he was rescuing the victims from the crash.
“I remember thinking that I had lost my sister, Felica (Jordan), in a car crash two years ago,” he said. “That was the only thing that was running through my mind was to try to save somebody’s life. It was a tragic day because I wasn’t able to get the fourth (person) out, but it was also a blessing for me to be there to save the lives of the three that I could.
Jordan, who is leased to WF Freight Lines out of Burnsville, MN, called his boss, Paul Griebel, to let him know what happened. Griebel, also an OOIDA member, says he knew when he hired Jordan more than a month ago that the guy was a “class act.”
Now he says he can add “hero” as a new way to describe Jordan.
“When I talked to him, I told him to take the day off, but he said he wanted to drive a little bit anyway,” Griebel said. “So I guess maybe that’s where a driver wants to be sometimes after these things happen – in his truck.” LL