Note: This story was updated at 11 a.m. Feb 23.
A crash between a Kia sport utility vehicle and a motorcycle seriously injured a motorcyclist on Outer Drive on Wednesday afternoon, and a police officer used a tourniquet to help stop bleeding, possibly saving the man’s life, authorities said.
The crash was reported at about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday.
The motorcyclist had a serious injury to his lower left leg, Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said.
Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Tim Buckner and Probationary Officer Michael Wilson were the first to arrive at the crash. Buckner, who had received training on a tactical tourniquet in April 2017, applied a tourniquet and stopped the blood flow, Akagi said. The motorcyclist had several punctured arteries and was suffering from blood loss, authorities said.
The motorcyclist was taken to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge by ambulance and then flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville by helicopter. Trauma surgeons said the quick application of the tourniquet by police officers was a significant factor in likely saving the man’s life and reducing injury to his leg, according to the Oak Ridge Police Department.
No one was injured in the Kia, Akagi said.
It’s the third tourniquet that the ORPD has applied in about 48 hours, one to a lower extremity and two to an upper extremity.
“I’m a little astonished at that,” Akagi said. But he said he was also extremely proud that officers have used the training they received in 2017 to help save lives.
In the earlier case involving tourniquets, the Oak Ridge Police Department reported Tuesday that officers applied two of them to a man who had severe, deep cuts to both arms during a burglary call. The man was suspected of injuring himself while trying to break into a home on Manhattan Avenue at about 5 a.m. Tuesday when a glass storm door shattered, the ORPD said. The suspect had significant blood loss, and trauma surgeons at the University of Tennessee Medical Center said the quick application of the tourniquets by police officers likely saved the man’s life, the ORPD said.
Tourniquets are now a mandatory tool carried by all officers in Oak Ridge.
Outer Drive was temporarily closed late Wednesday afternoon and early Wednesday evening as ORPD officers reconstructed the SUV-motorcycle crash due to the serious injury.
It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday afternoon if there would be any charges or citations issued after the crash.
Akagi said officers received extensive tactical medical and tourniquet application training from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau SWAT operators and medics in April 2017, and officers hadn’t used them until the past two days.
“I am extremely proud of the lifesaving techniques our officers used based on the training they received and am extremely thankful for LASD/SEB’s expertise in conducting the training,” Akagi said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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